President Donald Trump dismissed a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to temporarily reopen the government without having a deal in place to fund a border wall.
Why is the government shut down?
After failing to reach a budget deal, the U.S. government partially shut down on Dec. 22. President Donald Trump has declared that he won't sign any spending bill that does not include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, but so far Congress has refused to comply. Trump has said that he is "absolutely" prepared to keep the government shut down for " months or even years" if Congress does not fund his border wall.
On Monday, the shutdown entered its 24th day. This is now the longest shutdown in U.S. history, breaking the previous record held by a 21-day shutdown during the Clinton administration.
What did Graham propose?
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Graham said:
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, see if we can get a deal.
During the interview, Graham also said that he had tried unsuccessfully to float a plan for border security in return for promises for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. He also said he supports Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall, if the president decides that this is his best course of action.
Democratic lawmakers have also tried, unsuccessfully, to pass legislation that would reopen the federal government while negotiations continue.
What did Trump say?
Speaking to reporters Monday at the White House before he flew to New Orleans, Trump rejected the idea that he would reopen the government without a budget deal in place.
"I'm not interested," he said. "I want to get it solved. I don't want to just delay it. I want to get it solved."