USA shutdown: Trump urged to temporarily reopen government

People look across Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House

Mr Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had urged the president on Sunday to temporarily reopen government to get negotiations started again.

President Donald Trump might not be able to make a deal with dug-in Democrats, but he has a winning formula for 2020, regardless, against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., according to Newt Gingrich.

The government shutdown is now the longest in American history, with no apparent end in sight.

Mr Trump said the Democrats "could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes" and that he was "ready to sign" a deal.

But the president himself acknowledged in the White House meeting that an attempt to claim emergency powers would likely end up in legal battles going all the way to the Supreme Court - as other Republicans and some of his advisers have reportedly cautioned him.

On Friday, however, Trump backed off a series of previous threats to end the deadlock by declaring a national emergency and attempting to secure the funds without congressional approval.

Trump reminded that building a wall on the Mexican border was one of his main campaign promises. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back. See if we can get a deal.

"I would nearly say definitely", Trump said on Thursday when asked if he'd make such a move, the Times reported.

Graham and Coons spoke on "Fox News Sunday".

The speaker's office had no immediate comment.

Democrats oppose an emergency declaration but may be powerless to block it. Some Republicans are wary, too, fearing how a future Democratic president might use that authority. "I'm not saying that to diminish the seriousness of Swine Fflu, but we have people crossing our border by the thousands", he said.

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The paper reported law enforcement officials became concerned after Mr Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May 2017 and said the agency had to consider whether the president's actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

The US government shutdown became the longest on record at midnight last Friday, when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under president Bill Clinton.

But Trump has turned his single-minded push for more walls into a political crusade that opponents say is a stunt to stoke xenophobia in his right-wing voter base while willfully ignoring the border's complex realities.

"I'm in the White House, waiting".

"The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border - Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad - is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!" he said.

Jennifer Lawless, a politics professor at the University of Virginia, said she believed Mr Trump and Republicans would lose the game of chicken as furloughed workers, travellers, tourists and others "experience the consequences of political dysfunction firsthand".

The White House has been laying the groundwork for an emergency declaration, feared by members of both parties.

"If we do that, it will go to court and the wall won't get built", Johnson said on "State of the Union".

The Democrats, newly in control of the House of Representatives, have refused to cite fundamental opposition to Trump's anti-immigrant policies and the proposed wall in particular.

The "wall plus" plan could include an extension of temporary protected status for about 400,000 immigrants in the United States because of disasters back home in El Salvador and elsewhere, and renewable three-year work permits for young, undocumented "Dreamers", he said. "I want to keep pressure on Democrats to actually come to the negotiating table in good faith and fund what they have supported in the past".

But Graham, who favors a presidential declaration, said the time for talk is running out.

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