‘The real dam­age is a bro­ken bor­der,’ Gra­ham says of shut­down con­tin­u­ing

The Herald (Rock Hill) - - Front Page - BY TEDDY KULMALA tkul­[email protected]­tate.com

Ad­mit­ting that the U.S. is fac­ing “two bad choices,” Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham said that if the on­go­ing gov­ern­ment shut­down con­tin­ues into Fe­bru­ary, it will cause “less dam­age than if we don’t fix a bro­ken im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem.”

“You’ve got two bad choices here,” South Carolina’s senior se­na­tor said Sun­day on Fox News Sun­day. “Con­tinue the stale­mate and see parts of the gov­ern­ment shut down. It would be in­con­ve­nient and it can cre­ate prob­lems — and to the fed­eral work­force, I’m sorry you’re caught up in this mess.

“But the real dam­age is peo­ple com­ing across the bor­der, sell­ing drugs, killing Amer­i­cans — that needs to come to an end,” Gra­ham con­tin­ued. “The real dam­age is a bro­ken bor­der com­pared to a par­tial shut­down. The pres­i­dent’s not go­ing to give in. No wall, no deal. But he’s ready to deal.”

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Congress have feuded over fund­ing for the pres­i­dent’s pro­posed wall along the U.S.-Mex­i­can bor­der.

House Democrats have said they will not ap­prove any fund­ing for the wall. The stale­mate led to a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down that has dragged on since Dec. 22.

Half a dozen or so fed­eral em­ploy­ees protested out­side Gra­ham’s Co­lum­bia of­fice last week.

Trump has said he is open to declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency over im­mi­gra­tion in or­der to fund the wall, but views that as a last re­sort, said Gra­ham, who spoke with the pres­i­dent just be­fore his in­ter­view Sun­day morn­ing.

“Be­fore he pulls the plug on the leg­isla­tive op­tion — and I think we’re al­most there — 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. “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.”

Lind­sey Gra­ham

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