Lindsey Graham urges Trump to re-open the government - here’s why


The ongoing partial government shutdown entered its 22nd day on Saturday, breaking the record to become the longest government shutdown in USA history.

More than half of Americans hold President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers mainly responsible for the ongoing longest partial federal shutdown in the USA history, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday.

"It seems the president was watching @PeterAlexander, @kwelkernbc and me talk on @TODAYshow this morning about the lack of a strategy in the White House to end what is now the longest government shutdown in USA history", he tweeted.

Trump tweeted that "to understand" his plan, "you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people".

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he encouraged Trump during a telephone conversation Sunday to reopen government for a period of weeks to try to negotiate a deal with Democrats that would break the impasse.

Graham said Trump told him, he wants to first make a deal, then open up the government.

The 21-day shutdown in 1995-'96, when Bill Clinton was president, was the previous longest. "I want to see this wall get built, so I want to keep pressure on Democrats to actually come to the negotiating table in good faith and fund what they've supported in the past".

With the exception of certain local employees overseas, the rest are working without pay, such as those tasked with supporting Mr Pompeo's trip, which has thus far taken him to Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Bahrain.

Trump has tried on a number of occasions to blame Democrats for the government shutdown, such as when he tweeted in December that "Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything".

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The agents are "essential" federal workers and expected to work but many are calling in sick in protest at the situation, the Miami Herald reports.

"I think that's in the realm of possibility", Graham said. "And if this is not resolved soon, I predict that that's going to go in the wrong direction and we're going to start seeing longer and longer lines at airports".

Trump has kept Washington on edge over whether he would resort to such a declaration, citing what he says is a "crisis" of drug smuggling and the trafficking of women and children at the border.

Republicans, Democrats and the president seemed to be preparing for the prospect that the special counsel's inquiry into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation could further upend a government that's in the midst of the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

Trump told Sean Hannity this week he has "the absolute right" to make such a declaration if an agreement can not be reached with congressional Democrats on funding for his proposed border wall.

"President Obama declared [a national emergency] over Swine Flu, for Pete's sake".

"You get people ... saying walls are immoral", Trump said, after ticking off a litany of crimes committed both by and against immigrants. Schumer just can not give in against President Trump's demands for border wall funding. Neither Trump nor the Democrats are showing any signs of giving in to the other side.

A demonstrator holds a sign, signifying hundreds of thousands of federal employees who won't be receiving their paycheques as a result of the partial government shutdown, during a rally in Washington January 10, 2019.

But while that might end the standoff and allow Congress to move to other priorities, some Republicans believe such a declaration would usurp congressional power and could lead future Democratic presidents to make similar moves to advance liberal priorities.