Pres­sure goes on Se­nate to find shut­down so­lu­tion

The New Zealand Herald - - World - Feli­cia Son­mez and Cat Zakrzewski

Twenty-four days into the long­est gov­ern­ment shut­down in US his­tory and with the White House and House Democrats no closer to a deal, pres­sure is ramp­ing up on Se­nate Repub­li­cans to craft an exit plan that will get fed­eral em­ploy­ees back to work and pull their party out of a deep­en­ing po­lit­i­cal quag­mire.

In a sign that Repub­li­cans are in­creas­ingly con­cerned that the stand­off over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s long-promised bor­der wall is hurt­ing their party, Se­na­tor Lind­sey Gra­ham, R, suggested tem­po­rar­ily re­open­ing the gov­ern­ment while con­tin­u­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

If talks don’t bear fruit, Gra­ham said, the Pres­i­dent could con­sider fol­low­ing through on his threat to by­pass Con­gress and build the wall along the USMex­ico bor­der by declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency.

“I would urge him to open up the gov­ern­ment for a short pe­riod of time, like three weeks, be­fore he pulls the plug,” Gra­ham said on Fox News.

“See if we can get a deal. 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.”

The ma­noeu­ver­ing by a key Trump ally high­lights the dif­fi­cult bal­anc­ing act Se­nate Repub­li­cans will prob­a­bly face over the next two years, trapped be­tween a mer­cu­rial GOP pres­i­dent and an em­bold­ened new House Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity.

Trump con­tin­ued to point the fin­ger at Democrats, who he said were “ev­ery­where but Wash­ing­ton as peo­ple await their pay”.

At the same time, Democrats ramped up calls for Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell to take up House-passed leg­is­la­tion to fund the gov­ern­ment, re­gard­less of whether the Pres­i­dent agrees.

So far, three Repub­li­can se­na­tors — Cory Gard­ner, Su­san Collins and Lisa Murkowski — have called for an im­me­di­ate end to the shut­down even without the wall funds.

A Wash­ing­ton Post-ABC News poll said that more Amer­i­cans — 53 per cent — blame Trump and Repub­li­cans in Con­gress for the shut­down than con­gres­sional Democrats (29 per cent). Thir­teen per cent blame both equally.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.