President Donald Trump on Friday announced a deal to temporarily end the partial shutdown of the federal government.
Trump said that the government would reopen for three weeks while Congress negotiated possible funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The president said he would sign a bill to reopen the government as soon as Congress passes one.
The agreement would end a shutdown that has paralyzed about a quarter of the federal workforce for nearly five weeks. Roughly 800,000 government employees have been working without pay or furloughed.
“In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until Feb. 15,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.
Trump also pledged that federal workers who had missed pay during the shutdown would receive back pay “very quickly or as soon as possible.”
“You are fantastic people,” he said of federal employees. “You are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone but your families would know or understand.”
Friday’s deal does not guarantee a resolution to the original stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over America’s border security. Trump noted during his remarks that afternoon that he is not abandoning his demand for wall funding.
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will shut down on Feb. 15 again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” he said. “We will have great security.”
Trump suggested earlier in January that he would potential declare a national emergency to secure funding for his wall. The president later backtracked, however, saying he would prefer Congress reaching a solution.
Trump initially pushed lawmakers for $5.7 billion in wall funding, an amount that was supported by many fellow Republicans. Democratic leaders in Congress, however, repeatedly vowed that they would not fund the controversial structure as it would be inefficient and wasteful.
The standoff caused pain for many federal workers who could not receive paychecks until the agencies impacted by the shutdown reopened.
You can find all of GovLoop’s shutdown coverage here.
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