By Doina Chiacu, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator close to President Donald Trump on Sunday backed a temporary re-opening of the federal government, in the 23rd day of the longest shutdown ever, to allow for talks on a spending agreement that could satisfy Trump’s border security demands.
Democrats in Congress rejected Trump’s request that legislation to fund the government include $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. They have refused further negotiations until the government is reopened after being partially shut down since Dec. 22.
Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he urged the president on Sunday to reopen the government for a limited period to try to get talks going again.
If no progress is made, he said, then Trump should declare a national emergency as a way to get money to build his wall, a plan not popular with some fellow Republicans.
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