Senior US Republican Lindsey Graham has urged President Donald Trump to temporarily end the government shutdown. The senator, who is known to be close with Trump, has said that a limited reopening would allow talks between Republicans and Democrats to resume.
The current government shutdown has seen over 800,000 people lose paychecks over the Christmas period, and has now become the longest in US history.
On Thursday last week, the association that represents thousands of FBI agents warned that the shutdown could cause laboratory delays, reduce money for investigations and make it harder to recruit and retain agents.
Trump is refusing to approve any budget unless it includes $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. The Democrats have rejected the request, and say that they will not negotiate any further until the government is reopened.
Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency this week should he not receive the funding.
Senator Graham said that he urged Trump to open up the government for “a short period of time”, before he decides to declare a national emergency. Graham said that Trump refused, saying: “Let’s make a deal, then open up the government”.
“Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are almost 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.”Lindsey Graham