COLUMBIA — Early in the day Friday, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the shutdown at New York's understaffed LaGuardia Airport didn't bode well for the stalemate in Washington, D.C.
"I think that the problems at the airports are a sign of things to come,” Graham, R-S.C., told reporters in a Capitol hallway.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, now a New York resident after retiring her post as United Nations ambassador, threw in her two cents, too, as word of federal airport worker no-shows began to affect flights in and out of the Northeast.
"Republicans and Democrats need to get in a room and not leave or get paid until they reach a resolution," Haley tweeted. "This is dysfunctional and embarrassing at best."
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn was the most vocal of all, telling The Post and Courier before the Senate failed to break the logjam in a vote Thursday that he couldn't understand how South Carolinians could continue to stand behind President Donald Trump and his 35-day shutdown.
"Trump has replaced Woodrow Wilson, in my estimation, as the worst president since Andrew Johnson," Clyburn, D-S.C., said.
"You've got a president who says, 'If I don't get what I want, I'm going to throw a temper tantrum. I'm going to shut down the government. I will own it.' That is just crazy talk," Clyburn said. "But I suspect that's all you can expect from crazy people."
But with a deal reached Friday to re-open the government — without Trump's demand for border wall funding in it — some 3,000 federal employees in South Carolina can breathe a sigh of relief as they will soon return to work with a paycheck.
That's at least until Feb. 15, when the temporary agreement runs out in a break designed to give a bi-partisan group of lawmakers time to address a southern border spending strategy.
"Today the American people’s and federal workers’ prayers are answered," Clyburn said Friday, saying he hoped common ground could be found "on a path forward.”
While the political aisle feud is over temporarily, there were signs of South Carolina fingerprints involved throughout the more than month-long standoff.
Graham and junior U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., both sided with the president Thursday as neither was among the six Republicans that cast a vote for the Democratic-backed plan, which fell just eight votes short of ending the stalemate.
Scott briefly spoke to state reporters early Friday about the shutdown before the agreement was announced where he promoted compromise.
"It's an easy solution actually," Scott said at an economic development event in Columbia. "Both sides have to get something they want. And both sides have to get something they don't want."
What was worked out Friday came as Graham suggested that Trump open up the government for a short period of time, "like three weeks," to see if a deal can be met. That's close to what lawmakers agreed upon before Trump confirmed an agreement Friday at the White House.
Another South Carolinian in the mix, former congressman and now acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, was also part of the shutdown script, though a report Friday painted Mulvaney as less than effective in working to end the stalemate to the president's benefit.
Politico reported some in Washington were disappointed Mulvaney was unable to persuade Congress, where he served for six years, to give money for the border wall.
"Mulvaney’s counsel on the shutdown has largely been to urge Trump to keep up his demands for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall or structure along the U.S.-Mexico border," Politico wrote, adding "it was his idea to cancel Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Afghanistan aboard a military airplane as payback for her request to delay the president‘s State of the Union address."
“Mulvaney’s big selling point is that he's a political guy, but he seems to have screwed this up and put us in a box,” Politico quoted one Republican close to the White House as saying. “It’s not like the president or others are saying, ‘This is Mick’s fault,’ but he cheered it on.”
Reporters Schuyler Kropf and Andy Shain contributed to this report.