The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is coming to an end. A deal has been reached that will allow federal workers to return to work. The announcement was made this morning by President Trump.
“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” the President said from the Rose Garden of the White House. The President thanked workers affected by shutdown, calling them “incredible patriots.”
“I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers and their amazing families who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship,” the President said. “Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone but your families would know or understand….You are very, very special people. I am so proud that you are citizens of our country. When I say Make America Great Again it could never be done without you.”
The President also said that he would see to it that federal workers receive the backpay due to them “as soon as possible.”
The deal announced today would reopen government and keep it funded until February 15, 3 weeks from today. During that time, a bipartisan, bicameral committee will convene in Congress to try and come to an agreement on a broader border security package.
The President is still sticking to his demand of a structure along the southern border, which he says is recommended by law enforcement professionals whose job it is to secure the nation’s borders.
“[Democrat and Republican members of Congress] have finally and fully acknowledged that having barriers fencing or walls or whatever you want to call it will be an important part of the solution. A bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders will immediately begin reviewing the requests of our homeland security experts…and also law enforcement professionals who have worked with us so closely,” the President said.
“Our country has built six hundred and fifty four miles of barrier over the last 15 years and every career Border Patrol agent I have spoken with has told me that walls work,” he added.
The President’s decision was welcome news on Capitol Hill. Democratic leaders claimed victory over their shutdown strategy, but also pledged to work toward a larger solution that will prevent another shutdown next month.
“We’re pleased that we reached an agreement to reopen government now…It is very clear that we all understand the importance of securing our borders and we have some very good ideas on how to do that,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“House Democrats look forward to working in a bipartisan, bicameral way to pass all of the bills to open government as we proceed into the conference discussion,” she added.
“Now, once the President signs the continuing resolution, we in Congress will roll up our sleeves and try to find some agreement on border security. If we don’t agree on some of the specifics of border security – Democrats are firmly against the wall. But we agree on many things…and that bodes well for finding an eventual agreement,” said Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer.
The deal brings to an end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which lasted 35 days in all. The federal government shut down on December 22 at midnight when the President refused to sign spending bills passed by Congress that did not include funding for the border wall. Democrats agreed only to vote for spending bills that did not include any funding for a border wall.
Photo by The White House