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But Democrats say they are suspicious of any such deal because Trump agreed to such a trade past year, and then walked away from it.

He said Mr Trump should, as threatened, declare a national emergency to seek funding for his border wall with Mexico if the reopening failed to sway the Democrats.

"I do think if we reopen the government, if the president ends this shutdown crisis, we have folks who can negotiate a responsible, modern investment in technology that will actually make us safer", Democratic Senator Chris Coons of DE said on Fox.

The partial government shutdown is now in its fourth week, the longest in US history.

The assessment from Graham, who has become close to Trump, suggested the shutdown could last for weeks longer, if not months, inflicting additional financial pain on the 800,000 federal workers who have been idled or required to work without pay for the duration.

The Washington Post/ABC News survey found that far more Americans blame Trump and the Republicans for the shutdown than blame the Democrats - by 53 per cent to 29 per cent.

After meeting with Trump on Friday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said it was clear to him and the president that "Democrats don't want to make a deal and will never support border wall/barriers". "That's why I'm depressed". "He didn't empower his negotiators, like the vice president or (South Carolina GOP Sen.) Lindsey Graham or (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell".

The president issued a series of tweets Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and goad Democrats to return to Washington and end what he called "the massive humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border". "There's so much. And all I'm saying is that we've got to hit the ground, not running, but flying". "We believe the government should be opened".

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Screeners are among the lowest-paid federal employees.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told the West Block's Mercedes Stephenson that the three-week shutdown is a grudge match symbolizing the bigger ideological fight between Republicans and Democrats, but warned the country will face serious economic harm if it doesn't end soon.

"I think it ends when the Senate Republicans say we've had enough". Trump said in a separate tweet. Most also reject the President's assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border.

Earlier on Friday, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted 240-179 to restore funding for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, two of the agencies that have been shuttered since December 22.

Last week, the talks broke down during a contentious meeting at the White House at which Trump walked out when told by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that she would continue to oppose the wall in border security negotiations, even if the government was reopened.

Nearly half of all Republicans (49 percent) say the situation at the border is a crisis, and 43 percent say it is serious but not a crisis.

Johnson also suggested that Congress pass legislation to pay federal employees who are now working without pay.

Several senior Democrats had been due to travel to Puerto Rico over the weekend for a winter retreat that also included a visit to a fundraising performance of the musical Hamilton.


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