Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina shared a bleak outlook on the ongoing partial government shutdown while speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon.
“I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now. I just don’t see a pathway forward. Somebody is going to get some energy to fix this,” Graham began.
A reporter asked, “Do you think that Congress would prevent the president from declaring a national emergency?” (RELATED: House Republicans Introduce Bill To Pay Employees Who Work During Shutdown)
“I think the House would for sure. I don’t know what I would do. I’m open-minded to it being a crisis. The statute is pretty clear that you have to have congressional buy-in. Some people worry about the precedent you set on our side. Whether you could hold all the Republicans, I don’t know,” the South Carolina Senator continued. “Whether you could pick up a Democrat, I doubt it. So at the end of the day I don’t know if this bares fruit.”
Five Republican senators, including Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, met with Graham to discuss an immigration bill that would end the shutdown.
The longest government shutdown was 21 days long and occurred in 1995-1996 under former President Bill Clinton. The current shutdown is rapidly approaching that record with Thursday being the 20th day.