- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said it’s time for President Donald Trump to use emergency powers to build a barrier on the US-Mexico border.
- Hours before making the statement, Graham appeared to be unsure about whether an emergency declaration was a prudent decision.
- The statement followed a meeting at his office on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, in which several of his Republican colleagues and White House officials mounted a last-ditch effort to broker a deal with Democrats.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he thinks it’s time for President Donald Trump to use emergency powers to build a barrier on the US-Mexico border, a decision he indicated he was unsure about just hours before apparently changing his opinion on the issue.
“Time for President [Donald Trump] to use emergency powers to build Wall/Barrier,” Graham said on Twitter. “I hope it works.”
Graham said he based his decision on what he described as the Democratic leadership’s “refusal to negotiate” on acquiring funds for the wall and reopening the government after a 20-day partial government shutdown. Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have agreed to a budget bill that would allot funds for border security. They rejected the notion of providing $US5.7 billion to fund Trump’s wall.
Hours before making his statement, Graham appeared unsure about whether Trump making a national-emergency declaration would be a prudent move.
“President [Donald Trump] strongly believes he has power to declare a national emergency to build a wall,” Graham tweeted. “Will that approach work? I don’t know.”
The statement followed a meeting at his office on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, in which several of his Republican colleagues and White House officials mounted a last-ditch effort to broker a deal with Democrats.
A national-emergency declaration, which previous presidential administrations have made, would allow him to use funds to build his border wall without approval from Congress.
“If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it, I would almost say definitely,” Trump said before a trip to McAllen, Texas, to inspect the border. “This is a national emergency.”
Graham, who has slowly become one of Trump’s most ardent supporters in Congress, is expected to soon relinquish his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He recently became the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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