President Donald Trump is prepared to end the government shutdown.
That is the word from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, The Daily Mail reported.
But Democrats are going to need to be able to negotiate.
But Graham tried to push the blame toward Democrats and said Trump is ready to reopen the government, which is on day 24 of a shutdown.
‘I just talked to him about 30 minutes ago. He said let’s make a deal,’ Graham said on ‘Fox New Sunday.’
The senator from South Carolina also urged a breathing period of three weeks where the government would reopen while both sides negotiation a price tag for the president’s border wall.
‘I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks before he pulls the plug, 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. That’s my recommendation,’ Graham said.
Last week House Democrats passed individual appropriations bills to open each Cabinet department that is closed. Those are unlikely to be taken up in the Senate, however.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Capitol Hill on Monday although it’s unclear if that will be affected by the snow storm that hit Washington D.C.
None of the votes scheduled in the House or Senate for Monday evening deal with reopening the government.
No meetings between the White House and Democrats are scheduled after Trump walked out of a sit down last week.
The president and Democrats are head locked over funding for his border wall. Trump wants the full $5.7 billion it would take to build it while Democrats are sticking to the $1.3 billion they’ve offered for border security.
The president has tweeted his willingness to talk to Democrats and called into Fox News’ Jeanne Pirro Saturday night to say he’s ready to work with the other side.
‘It would take me 15 minutes to get a deal done, and everybody could go back to work. But I’d like to see them act responsibly, and they’re not acting responsibly, and that’s it,’ he said of Democrats.
He also tweeted on Saturday ‘I do have a plan on the Shutdown. But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people.’
‘Fox News Sunday’ host Chris Wallace asked Graham what the president’s plan was.
‘The plan is to do a deal,’ said the senator, who is a close ally of the president. ‘He is willing to do – in my view – a wall plus.’
Graham described a deal he thought he could get the president to agree to: full funding for the border wall in exchange for protections for those in the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in addition to protections for those with temporary protected status.
‘I don’t want to speak for the president, I don’t want to lock him in but I’m confident what I described plus a few other things would be a deal acceptable to the White House and a lot of Democrats. And I’m just so frustrated we can’t get in a room and hammer it out,’ he said.
Democrats, however, have been firm on their stance of no wall.
Trump has been just as firm that he won’t sign legislation funding the government without money for his border barrier.
‘What are we supposed to do? Just give in? He’s not going to give in,’ Graham said.