Graham says Trump isn't giving in on southern border wall

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been critical of President Donald Trump's response to disasters in Puerto Rico

More than 800,000 US federal workers are caught up in the escalating row between Donald Trump and Congress. President Trump is refusing to approve a funding budget unless his $5.7billion (£4.5billion) finance bill for a wall along the US-Mexico border is agreed.

"I have the absolute right to call 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".

An attempt Thursday by moderate Republican senators to broker a deal that would have traded immigration protections for undocumented "Dreamers" brought to the United States as children in return for wall money collapsed after Vice President Mike Pence rejected it.

Two new polls, by The Washington Post and ABC News, along with one from CNN, showed American voters blame Trump and Republicans more than Democrats for the partial government shutdown and oppose construction of the wall.

According to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS between January 10 and 11, 55 percent of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, while 32 percent blame congressional Democrats and nine percent blame both. Thirteen percent blame both equally.

Democrats, meanwhile, seem determined at all costs to prevent the president from getting the wall he has often promised in his campaign-style rallies.

"Democrats should come back to Washington and work to end the Shutdown, while at the same time ending the terrible humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border". "I am not going to do it so fast", he said at a White House meeting.

"Your families will get your paychecks", he told U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the agency's Washington headquarters. Democrats are relatively more concerned about these impacts, but many Republicans share the concerns, too.

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Trump also blasted Democrats for attending a winter retreat in Puerto Rico, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers attended the opening night of Hamilton with creator and original star Lin-Manuel Miranda back in the lead. Today, the shutdown will become the longest in US history.

But Republicans who control the Senate have so far stood with Trump and insisted that any spending bills include money for his wall.

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are nearly there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday". "Clearly the president's got authority under the law, but he's said he doesn't want it to come to that". A lot of them also favor a wall and view the situation at the U.S. -Mexico border as a crisis. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, encouraging Trump on Friday to declare a national emergency "now".

According to the Associated Press, senior White House aide Jared Kushner - Mr Trump's son-in-law - is among those who have cautioned the president against declaring a national emergency.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, part of the GOP leadership, said at a forum Friday in Austin that the lawmakers "worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey - their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild".

"I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly", he told Fox in an interview late Saturday.

If the shutdown continues for several months, as the president has threatened, 38 per cent of Americans say they would consider that a crisis, 41 per cent say it would be a serious problem but not a crisis, and 18 per cent say it would not be a serious problem.

But Graham, who favours a presidential declaration, said the time for talk is running out. "As a candidate, this is what he talked about, and if there's any mandate he can claim from his election, it was better border security and keeping this nation safe". We are instead left with a narrative of a powerless President, stuck alone in the White House, waiting on the actions of others before he can do his job.

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