A senior US Republican has urged President Donald Trump to temporarily reopen parts of the government shut down for more than three weeks. Senator Lindsey Graham, who is close to Mr Trump, said a limited re-opening of a few weeks would allow talks to resume between Republicans and Democrats.
The partial government shutdown has now become the longest in US history. It has left hundreds of thousands of public workers unpaid and government offices closed.
President Trump is refusing to approve a budget unless it includes US$ 5.7bn for a wall along the Mexican border - a key campaign pledge. Democrats have rejected his request and say they will not negotiate further until the government is reopened.
Mr Trump has raised the stakes by threatening to declare a national emergency and circumvent Congress and get the money he wants.
Mr Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he had urged the president on Sunday to temporarily reopen government to get negotiations started again. He said if talks still failed to agree the funding, the White House could then declare a national emergency.
”Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are almost there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal, Mr Graham told Fox News Sunday.
He said Mr Trump had told him: Let's make a deal, then open up the government.”
However correspondents say pressure is building on Mr Trump as the dispute drags on, with opinion polls showing more Americans blame him for the shutdown than they do the Democrats.
On Monday the partial shutdown enters its 24th day. About a quarter of the federal government is out of operation and last Friday 800,000 employees missed their first salaries of the year.
About 350,000 of those workers are furloughed - a type of temporary lay-off - but the rest are expected to continue to work. Thousands have reportedly applied for unemployment benefits amid the financial uncertainty.
Over the weekend, part of Miami International airport was closed because of a shortage of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents caused by the shutdown, and on Sunday evening, Houston Bush airport stopped security screening at one of its terminals, due to a shortage of staff, and directed passengers to other terminals for security checks.