Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (R-S.C.), who has emerged as one of President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, urged the president to “dig in” on funding for a border wall as a deadline to fund parts of the government looms.
Trump made a “compelling case that you need more wall funding to secure the country,” Graham said on Fox News Tuesday night.
“He needs to dig in and get the very Democrats who voted for $25 billion to give him $5 [billion] because we need the money now more than ever,” he added, referring to a February deal that fell through. It would have provided $25 billion for border security, including the wall, along with protections for young undocumented immigrants protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Graham's comments came hours after an Oval Office meeting Tuesday in which Trump stunned Republicans when he said he would take ownership of a partial government shutdown if an agreement could not be reached with Democrats over funding for a border wall.
“We don’t get what we want, one way or the other whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government. And I am proud to shut down the government for border security. I will take the mantle. I will shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it,” Trump told Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin meeting with Biden, Schumer in Delaware Progressives' optimism for large reforms dwindles Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Pelosi won't say if she'll run for reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) at the White House.
Funding for seven government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, will lapse on Dec. 21 without a deal.
Graham during the Fox interview urged Trump to pair DACA with border wall money in a new round of government funding and dare the Democrats to decline the deal.
“I think the president and people like me need to make a case to the American people that they’re denying this president money that makes sense. … It’s not the money, it’s the desire to have Trump fail,” he said.
“He’s in a good spot — make the case that this money is necessary, and challenge the Democrats to work on DACA plus the wall, and if they say no to that, that means they really do hate Trump more than they care about the country, and that will blow up in their face.”
Trump has made his campaign promise of a border wall the cornerstone of his immigration policy, though its funding is in serious jeopardy with Democrats poised to take control of the House of Representatives in January.