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As shutdown drags on, Trump tries to reassure farmers feeling burned

On Monday, President Trump said he is hesitant to declare a national emergency to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and that Congress should resolve the "simple" disagreement that's keeping the government partly closed. He also said he had rejected a proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to reopen the government temporarily. Yamiche Alcindor reports on the shutdown's latest impacts.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The day's other major story: the partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week.

    White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor has been following the president on that front.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Shutdown day 24, and no end in sight. Today, President Trump said he is still looking to make a deal and doesn't want to act alone.

  • Donald Trump:

    I'm not looking to call a national emergency. This is so simple, you shouldn't have to.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    As he left for an event in New Orleans, he also insisted the shutdown is now entirely the fault of Democrats.

  • Donald Trump:

    The Democrats are stopping us, and they're stopping a lot of great people from getting paid.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    But some in the president's own party are now calling for him to compromise on his demand for $5.7 billion for his southern border wall.

    On Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime ally of the president, said Mr. Trump should at least temporarily end the shutdown.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

    I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug, see if we can get a deal. If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    This morning, Mr. Trump rejected the idea.

  • Donald Trump:

    Well, that was a suggestion that Lindsey made, but I did — I did reject it, yes. I'm not interested. I want to get it solved. I don't just want to delay it. I want to get it solved.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Democrats say it's up to the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make a deal.

    Today, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland spoke at the Baltimore Airport with employees of the Transportation Security Administration. They are among nearly 400,000 federal workers required to work without pay during the shutdown.

  • Sen. Ben Cardin:

    It's extremely challenging when people say why don't you compromise when you're dealing with the president of the United States, who's holding America hostage, and when the president himself undermines his own negotiators over and over again.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Today, TSA said that, on January 3, two weeks into the shutdown, a man got through security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport undetected with a gun. The agency said the security checkpoint was fully staffed.

    But, today, across the country, including at airports in Atlanta and Houston, travelers faced long TSA lines. Meanwhile, in New Orleans this afternoon, at the American Farm Bureau Convention, Mr. Trump addressed the concerns of farmers.

  • Donald Trump:

    We're fighting very hard for you. We're making a lot of progress. So I'm asking all of our citizens to call your Democrat lawmakers and ask them to pass a bill that secures our border, protects our country, and now reopens our government.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    The shutdown means many farmers are unable to get critical federal data or loans they will need to plan for spring planting.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

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