Top Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall, signaling doubts within the president's party as a government shutdown was set to enter a fourth workweek.
"I don't want to speak for the president... but I'm confident what I just described with a few other things would be a deal acceptable to the White House and a lot of Democrats, and I'm just so frustrated we can't get in a room and hammer it out", Graham said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY have refused to meet that demand, instead offering a far smaller sum to shore up border security and asking the President to reopen the government now and negotiate on border security later.
Mr Trump pushed back last Saturday on a media report that his White House was "chaotic" with no plan or strategy to end the shutdown.
Lindsey Graham is urging President Trump to reopen the federal government for a three week period before declaring a national emergency at the southern border. "If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off".
Such a step would allow Mr Trump to bypass Congress and tap various pots of unspent federal money, including for military construction and disaster relief and from assets seized by law enforcement, to pay for the wall. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back.
"It's the last option, not the first option, but we're pretty close to that being the only option", Graham said of an emergency declaration. "See if we can get a deal", Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has called on Trump to invoke emergency action, said on "Fox News Sunday". Democrats reject that characterization and continue to prepare a response to an emergency declaration that would involve recourse to the courts.
Overall, Democrats appear somewhat more conciliatory than Republicans. Such a move, should Trump ultimately go that route, would nearly certainly be challenged in the courts.
Mr Trump fired off a series of tweets last Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and goad Democrats to return to Washington and end what he called "the massive humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border".
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Nonetheless, Trump insisted he had the right to declare an emergency if he chose to, and continued to insist there was a crisis at the border.
More Americans-54%-still say they oppose a border wall.
Trump's wall is winning adherents as support increased over the past year.
"It's not about elitism, it's not about separatism, it's not about racism", Milstead said. "I am in the White House ready to sign!" "If you think of some of the things they say and do, it's just kind of incredible". "They have to get together, forge a compromise, each side has to lose a little bit of face and we've got to get the government back open", he said.
"The easiest solution to the shutdown is to just give President Trump the money for the mandate he received from the American public", he said.
"There's a real risk for Democrats if they go out and they do something to help President Trump, that their own base is going to go after them", Gingrich concluded.
He said Trump told him, "Let's make a deal, then open up the government".