18:44 GMT +305 December 2019
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    Union members and other federal employees rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington

    Trump Says Declined Graham's Proposal to End Shutdown, Reopen Gov't Temporarily

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump said at the White House on Monday that he rejected a proposal from Senator Lindsey Graham to reopen the government for a few weeks while negotiations on border wall funding continue.

    "That was a suggestion that Lindsey made, but I did reject it. I am not interested," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn ahead of his departure to New Orleans.

    Graham, who is one of Trump's most loyal allies in the Congress, told Fox News on Sunday that he urged the president to reopen the government before "he pulls the plug," a reference to the president's option of declaring a national emergency.

    The president has hinted that he could declare a national emergency in order to secure funds to build a wall along the border with Mexico, though he has said he would prefer to reach a deal with Congress on the matter.

    In his remarks to reporters on Monday, Trump said he wants to get the shutdown resolved because the crisis on the border remains crucial. He insisted, however, that Democrats must admit that the United States needs border security and agree to compromise.

    READ MORE: Hillary Clinton Weighs In as Government Shutdown Drags On

    On Monday, the government shutdown entered day 24 without an agreement on a spending bill. Trump has requested more than $5 billion for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico. Democrats believe the project would be a waste of time and should not be executed at the expense of American taxpayers.


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