COLUMBIA — President Donald Trump on Monday rejected a proposal from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to temporarily reopen the government while continuing negotiations with Democrats on funding for a border wall.
"I'm not interested," Trump said of Graham's idea. "I want to get it solved. I don't want to just delay it."
In an interview Sunday on Fox News, Graham suggested Trump could open the government briefly and give Democrats a short window to come to the negotiating table.
"I would urge him 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," said Graham, R-S.C. "If we can’t at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself with the emergency powers. That is my recommendation."
Democrats had already pushed for such an outcome, proposing last year to fund key government agencies through Feb. 8, but Republicans turned down that offer.
Graham has also been one of few Republicans to call for Trump to rely on executive authority by declaring a national emergency to unilaterally pursue wall funding — a last resort that Trump has said he is not yet ready to pursue.
Last week, Graham became so frustrated with the negotiations that he said he was giving up and would not schedule any more meetings to try to reach a resolution. But he has continued to put forward ideas in the days since.
This partial government shutdown is now the longest in American history at 24 days. With Trump shooting down Graham's suggestion and Democrats steadfast in their opposition to the president's request of $5.7 billion for his proposal border wall, no end to the shutdown appears in sight.
Thousands of federal workers across the country, including in South Carolina, did not receive their scheduled paychecks Friday, leaving some in a precarious financial situation.