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Himes: Trump Won't Stand Down Until He Can Declare Victory

Chion Wolf
Connecticut Public Radio
Rep. Jim Himes

Tensions remain high and a sense of urgency has set in as the partial shutdown of the federal government begins to affect more Americans.

Rep. Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut’s 4th District, said his party may have to let President Trump declare a victory of sorts to end the government shutdown.

Trump has said he won’t sign a bill to reopen the government unless it contains funding for a border wall.

Himes told Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition, there may be a way to find a compromise.

“My guess is that there’s going to be some way to find some number of miles along the border,” he said, “where you can take a wire fence, and turn it into -- again, to use the president’s phrase -- steel slats, to give him a way to save face out of this thing.”

Himes’ position is in contrast to leaders in his own party who said in their response to Trump’s primetime address on Tuesday that the president is trying to hold the American people hostage.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor Wednesday to ask his colleagues what has changed in the two weeks since they voted unanimously on a spending package that did not include funding for the wall.

“Well, we know what's changed,” he said. “What's changed is the president has decided he won't sign it. But that's not how the Constitution works. The Constitution does not make the Senate subservient to the president.”

Murphy also urged Trump not to declare a national emergency along the southern border to get the wall built. Murphy said if Trump gets his way it will set a "terrible precedent."

“If President Trump can use a national emergency declaration to build a border wall, what would stop a Democratic president from declaring a health care emergency to create a single payer health care system?” he asked.

The current shutdown is the second-longest in the nation’s history.

Harriet Jones, Ray Hardman, and Diane Orson contributed to this report.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

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