Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) doesn’t understand why Republicans would try to stand in the way of President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall.
Graham noted that the deal negotiated between Republicans and Democrats will get the president closer to the $5 billion he requested but he thinks Trump should use his executive powers to secure the remaining funding.
During an interview on Fox News with Shannon Bream, Graham urged the president to sign the deal to keep the government open. He told Trump to look at the spending package as a “down payment.”
“[President Trump’s] going to get a lot more than a dollar. He’s going to get money for more judges, nobody talks about that. There is no limit on [ICE detention center] bed space, like I was worried about, so take this as a down payment. Go into the defense bill and move money around like Congress allows you to do last year and build this damn wall. […] Declare a national emergency, cause it is, and move the money around to secure this border.”
Graham explained that Republicans would be “idiots” to stand in the way of Trump on declaring a national emergency. Some Republicans have worried that Trump’s declaration could set a bad precedent for future Democratic presidents to use. He claimed that the GOP is on the winning side of the issue and they should force Democrats to be the ones making noise against border security.
“The president should declare a national emergency because it is and let the Democrats argue that it’s not,” said Graham. “Talk about why they don’t want to secure the border and we do. It is a great issue for 2019 and 2020, it is a legitimate national security issue, and we would be idiots as Republicans not to support Donald Trump to build this wall any way he can legally.”
President Trump and Democrats have until Friday to sign a bill and avoid re-entering a partial government shutdown. Graham is confident that President Trump will sign the deal, noting that he’s “more worried about Democrats” than the president.