Sen. Graham: Trump isn't giving in on southern border wall

Donald Trump

The Democrats are not willing to play ball after reclaiming the House. The expectation at the moment is that this week will be just as fruitless as the last. No new talks are scheduled.

And, Trump, who was holed up in the White House as snow blanketed Washington on Sunday, appeared to shoot down Graham's suggestion of a "wall plus" deal, saying on Twitter that even Democrats don't want to make "Dreamers" part of the negotiations. "As long as that's the case, we are never going to get a legislative package no matter what the Senate does".

Many security officers "are understandably looking for other work to make ends meet, House of Representatives Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, said in a statement". The poll finds that 42 per cent of Democrats who oppose the wall say congressional Democrats should refuse to budge even if it extends the shutdown; 37 per cent say they should compromise with Trump.

Democrats in Congress rejected Trump's request that legislation to fund the government include $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. He described the supposed deal as a wall funding in exchange for amnesty of the three million DACA illegal aliens plus a giveaway of citizenship to 400,000 people who allowed to live and work in the United States under a "Temporary Protected Status" permit.

Trump also told reporters Monday that he would not be declaring a national emergency at the southern border to obtain the funding without Congressional approval. We have drugs, we have criminals, we have gangs. While everyone had ideas and theories, not one could give a firm, confident answer on the way out. If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off, see if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers. I am going to support him. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to temporarily reopen the government without having a deal in place to fund a border wall. Not giving him anything on this, aides say, is seen as a way to keep this from happening again. I've been on the phone with a half-dozen Democratic and Republican senators in recent weeks and several different efforts by Republican senators to negotiate a compromise, got cold water thrown in them the next day by the president publicly, even one effort that was being led by Vice President Mike Pence. Those numbers have been circulated to senators and aides, CNN has learned - a signal that staying out to this fight, or at least not bucking the President - has been a working (relatively speaking given everything is a mess) strategy up to this point. It's unclear whether that damage will last, as past shutdowns haven't left much of a lasting mark on voters' impressions and voters' attention spans have been especially short in the Trump era given the huge amount of big stories that whip through the headlines.

In a meeting last month with Pelosi and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, Trump said he would be "proud" to shut down the government over wall funding.

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"Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes!"

That's not an irrational fear - although Republicans could have said the same thing when Chuck Schumer initiated the previous shutdown to get Trump to cave on DACA funding.

Trump said Monday morning he rejected the offer. Then Republicans often called out Obama as overstepping his authority in using executive actions when Congress failed to act on White House priorities. "I want to get it solved, I don't want to just delay it".

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.

Don't read Graham's comments as a sign that Graham is fleeing the President's side - this is far more about Graham understanding that negotiations are more fruitful with a new deadline and anvil hanging over one's head than anything else (a trigger that simply doesn't exist in this current scenario, where there is no deadline - or end to a shutdown in sight). Lindsey Graham also says Trump still wants to reach a deal for the wall before agreeing to reopen shuttered government departments.

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