The 35-day government shutdown came to an end on Friday, as President Donald Trump announced a short-term agreement with Congress to reopen federal agencies which had gone unfunded since Dec. 21, 2018.
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said:
“In a short while, I will sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks, until Feb. 15. I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly or as soon as possible.”
Both houses of Congress passed the spending bill Friday after Trump gave his address. The president then signed the measure to restore approximately 25 percent of the government late Friday.
The deal does not include the $5.7 billion funding for a border wall across the U.S.-Mexico border that Trump demanded in late December. However, the president did insinuate that the discussion over border wall funding has not concluded, saying:
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15 again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.”
In a tweet Friday evening, Trump further clarified the resolution was “in no way a concession”, and that it only serves to benefit Americans affected by the shutdown, which are primarily the 800,000 federal workers who have not received their paychecks since the shutdown began.
I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
Trump’s approval ratings have declined in the duration of the government closing.
According to CNN, Trump currently has a 37 percent approval rating, compared to 57 percent who disapprove. In November 2018, 41 percent approved, and 51 percent disapproved.
A poll released by CBS News reveals that 71 percent of Republicans did not believe the debate over border wall security was worth the over month-long shutdown.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference in response to the president’s announcement.
“As Democrats have said all along, the solution to this impasse was to separate funding the government from our disagreements over border security. This agreement endorses that position,” Schumer said.
Now, talks between Congress and the White House will begin to settle longer-term funding for border security within the Department of Homeland Security, with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) leading the GOP conference’s negotiations team.
[Politico] [USA Today] [Photo courtesy KTVQ]