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US shutdown: Trump urged to temporarily reopen government



 President Donald Trump lists Senator Lindsey Graham during a campaign rally in Tupelo, Mississippi, November 26, 2018

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Reuters

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Senator Lindsey Graham is known as a close confident or President Trump
                

A senior US Republican has urged President Donald Trump to temporarily reopen the government shut down for more than three weeks.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who is close to Mr Trump, said a limited re-opening of a few

It has left hundreds of thousands of public workers unpaid and government offices closed.

President Trump is refuse to approve a budget unless it includes $ 5.7bn (£ 4.5bn) for a wall along the Mexican border ̵

1; a key campaign pledge. Democrats have rejected his request and say they will not negotiate until the government is reopened.

  • Mr Trump has raised the stakes by threatening to declare a national emergency and circumventing Congress and get the money he needs.

    What did Lindsey Graham suggest?

    Mr Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had urged the president on Sunday to temporarily reopen government to get negotiations started again.

    He said if talks did not agree to the funding, the White House could then declare a national emergency.

    Image copyright
    AFP

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    President Trump insists a wall or barrier along the Mexican border is needed to stop criminals entering the US
                    

    "Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are almost there, I would like to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal, "Mr. Graham told Fox News Sunday.

    He said Mr Trump had told him:" Let's make a deal, then open up the government. "

    How far apart are the two sides ?

    Correspondents say pressure is building on Mr. Trump as the disputed drags on, with opinion polls showing more Americans blame for the shutdown than they do the Democrats.

    But on Sunday Mr Trump was still blame his opponents for the standoff.

    • How much of Trump's wall has been built?
    • What border politicians think of Trump's wall

    "I'm in the White House, waiting The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking! " he tweeted

    Several senior Democrats had been to travel to Puerto Rico over the weekend for a winter retreat that also included a visit to a fundraising performance of the musical Hamilton.

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    AFP

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    Heavy snow in Washington could delay the return of senior Democrats from Puerto Rico on Monday
                    

    Deputy Chief of Staff for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Drew Hammill, responded to tweeting: "Speaker Pelosi has been in DC every weekend working from the Capitol."

    How are workers affected?

    On Monday the partial shutdown enters its 24th day.

    About a quarter of the federal government is out of operation and last Friday 800,000 employees missed their first salaries of the year.

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    Getty Images

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    Government workers have staged rallies in US cities calling for an end to the shutdown
                    

    About 350,000 of those workers are furloughed – a type of temporary lay-off – but the rest are expected to continue to work.

    Thousands have reportedly applied for unemployment benefits amid the financial uncertainty. , part of Miami International airport was closed because of a shortage of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents caused by the shutdown.

    The agents are "essential" federal workers and expected to work but many are calling in sick in protest at the situation, the Miami Herald reports.

    On Sunday evening, Houston Bush airport stopped security screening at one of its terminals, due to a shortage of staff, and directed passengers to other terminals for security checks.

    Image copyright
    EPA

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    A terminal at Miami International airport was closed because of security staff shortages
                    


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