Top Republicans Oppose Border "Emergency" As US Shutdown Drags On

US President Donald Trump and others listen to a prayer during a meeting about border security in the Cabinet Room of the White House

A Washington Post/ABC poll on Sunday showed 53 percent of respondents put Trump and Congressional Republicans at fault for the extended government closure, while 29 percent blame Democrats.

The debate over the border wall has dragged on over the weeks with Trump describing it as "a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul" in his January 8 national address, while House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Sen.

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. "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", Graham said.

Some Trump allies have been encouraging him to declare a national emergency and redirect other funds to begin building the wall. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back. "But we need money for that barrier", Trump said.

Biggs said that Republicans must "stand firm" behind Trump if he declares a national emergency.

Democrats oppose an emergency declaration but may be powerless to block it. Many Republicans are wary, too, fearing its use by a future Democratic president. Such a move, should Trump ultimately go that route, would nearly certainly be challenged in the courts.

Senator Chris Coons, called Mr Graham's idea to reopen the government a "great place to start".

In his nationally televised address he delivered from the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump asserted that there is a humanitarian and security crisis at the border because of illegal immigration.

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

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Those whites who do not have college degrees remain in favor of a wall along the border with Mexico (51% favor it, 46% oppose it), but they tilt toward blaming the President for the government shutdown (45% say he is more responsible for it, 39% the Democrats in Congress).

"I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly", he told Fox in an interview late last Saturday.

First, Republicans have a lawsuit before the Supreme Court on the Constitutionality of President Donald Trump's decision to overturn former President Obama's executive order on DACA.

Pelosi also has shown no interest in accepting a wall - she has called it an "immorality" - in exchange for the suggested immigration fixes.

The shutdown is now the longest in the country's history.

Trump described an emergency declaration as the "easy way out" and said Congress had to step up to the responsibility of approving the $5.7 billion he says is needed. "Primarily because if we do that, it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built", Sen.

More certain is that while narcotics do enter the country across remote sections of the border, most are sneaked through heavily guarded checkpoints in vehicles, the government's own Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2017 report. A person familiar with White House thinking said that in meetings this past week, the message was that the administration is in no rush and wants to consider various options.

Graham and Coons spoke on "Fox News Sunday".

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