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Lindsey Graham urges Trump to reopen the government — here’s why

Says Trump should reopen it at least three weeks

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said Sunday that he backs the temporary opening of the government, now in day 23 of a partial shutdown.

Why is that a good move?

The South Carolina senator told "Fox News Sunday" that President Donald Trump should reopen the government so negotiations can resume on a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Graham told host Chris Wallace he hopes Trump will consider one more attempt to negotiate a deal to fund the project.

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are almost there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal," said Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If no agreement is reached, then the president should move to declare a national emergency, Graham said on the news program. Other Republicans have said they are not in favor of an emergency declaration to build the wall.

Graham also said he does not believe it's likely an agreement can be reached.

"Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the House, said even if he opened up the government, I'll give you one dollar for the wall," Graham said. "As long as that's the case, we're never going to get a legislative package, no matter what the Senate does."

Democrats have rejected Trump's plan for a $5.7 billion border wall project. They have also refused to resume talks until the government is reopened. The partial shutdown began Dec. 22.

Graham said Trump told him, he wants to first make a deal, then open up the government. The president has blamed Democrats for the stalemate.

Anything else?

"I'm in the White House, waiting," Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday. "The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!"

Under the shutdown, 800,000 federal employees are furloughed and government services have been cut across the nation. Some employees, such as air traffic controllers and government airport security workers, are working without pay.

"The shutdown is real," Jennifer Lawless, a politics professor at the University of Virginia, told Reuters. "The wall is hypothetical. And at some point soon, the Republicans are going to remember that it's real people in their districts who aren't getting paid, real people who aren't able to access government services, and real people who vote."

One last thing…
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