Sen. Lindsey Graham says he sees no "pathway forward" in shutdown dispute

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican and close White House ally, said Thursday he doesn't see a way to resolve the shutdown dispute that has paralyzed much of the federal government. "I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now," Graham told reporters. "I just don't see a pathway forward. Somebody has got to get some energy to fix this."

Graham's comments came on the 20th day of the partial government shutdown. President Trump and congressional Republicans say they won't support any bill to fund and reopen the government that doesn't include money for a wall along the southern border. Democrats, meanwhile, say they will not fund the wall.

Negotiations between Mr. Trump and Democratic leaders have so far proven fruitless. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump abruptly left a meeting after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would not fund the wall. "He sort of slammed the table, and when Leader Pelosi said she didn't agree with the wall, [Mr. Trump] walked out and said, 'We have nothing to discuss,'" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

Negotiations to end government shutdown disintegrate when Trump walks out

Graham, in a tweet, acknowledged there's essentially no chance of a legislative solution that reopens the government and pays for a wall, which he blamed on the new House speaker, Nancy Pelosi. "Speaker Pelosi's refusal to negotiate on Wall/Barrier funding – even if the government were to be reopened – virtually ends congressional path to fund Wall/Barrier," he tweeted. "Time for President @realDonaldTrump to use emergency powers to build Wall/Barrier. I hope it works."

Mr. Trump wants $5.7 billion to build the wall, which during the 2016 campaign he repeatedly promised to build once in office. Mr. Trump also frequently said during the campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, although he has since attempted to water down that promise

On Thursday, the president said he would declare a national emergency to compel funds for the wall if he couldn't make a deal with Democrats. "If this doesn't work out, I probably will do it, I would almost say definitely," Mr. Trump told reporters, adding later, "If we don't make a deal, I would say 100 percent but I don't want to say 100 percent."

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