Graham: There could be GOP ‘war’ over border wall

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned on Monday that there could be a “war” among Republicans if President Trump declared a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Graham, speaking in South Carolina, acknowledged that the idea divides Republicans, who he argued should unite behind the president if he ends up circumventing Congress to build the wall.

“It seems to me that he’s gonna have to go it alone, but there could be a war within the Republican Party over the wall,” Graham said. 
{mosads}Graham added that he would “stand with” Trump if he declares a national emergency to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall and urged his Republican colleagues to “get behind the president” if he goes down that path. 
“To any Republican who denies the president the ability to act as commander in chief, you’re going to create a real problem within the party,” Graham said. 
Congress has until Feb. 15 to get a deal on the U.S.-Mexico border wall and prevent a second partial shutdown, which would impact roughly a quarter of the government. 
Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conference committee’s ability to get an agreement with Democrats. Graham echoed him on Monday, saying he was not “very optimistic” about the chances of getting a deal. 
The president has dismissed the talks as a “waste of time” and repeatedly hinted that he could declare an emergency to construct the border wall if Congress misses next week’s deadline. 

“I don’t take anything off the table. I don’t like to take things off the table. It’s that alternative. It’s national emergency, it’s other things and you know there have been plenty national emergencies called. And this really is an invasion of our country by human traffickers,” Trump told CBS, asked if he would shut down the government. 

The potential for declaring a national emergency has sparked fierce backlash on Capitol Hill, including from the president’s traditional GOP allies. Republicans believe it would automatically get challenged in court, dragging out the wall fight for years, and would set a precedent for a future Democratic president. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly warned Trump that a resolution blocking his emergency declaration could pass, forcing the president to issue his first veto. McConnell and other top Senate Republicans have also publicly pushed back against the president declaring a national emergency.
“I’m for whatever works, which means avoiding a shutdown and avoiding the president feeling he should declare a national emergency,” McConnell told reporters last week. 
Tags Donald Trump Emergency declaration Government shutdown Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell National Emergency declaration U.S.-Mexico border wall

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