Advertisement
World

Donald Trump caves, signs deal to temporarily re-open U.S. government

WATCH ABOVE: Trump announces end to government shutdown with continuing resolution

President Donald Trump says lawmakers have reached a deal to reopen the government for three weeks, ending the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said Friday from White House Rose Garden.

After saying for weeks that he would not reopen the government without funding for a border wall, Trump signed a deal that would fund the government until Feb. 15, without additional money for his signature campaign promise.

The House of Representatives approved the deal unanimously.

WATCH: Trump calls on both parties to work towards bipartisan budget

Trump said a bipartisan panel will work on a package that includes border security before the February deadline. The president also thanked Americans and said he’s working to ensure that the furloughed workers who missed two paycheques during the shutdown will get backpay.

Story continues below advertisement

“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,” Trump said.

WATCH: Flights delayed at major U.S. airports due to staffing issues amid government shutdown

U.S. government shutdown causes flight delays
U.S. government shutdown causes flight delays

The announcement came as air traffic at LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were both experiencing at least 90-minute delays in takeoffs Friday. And Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was experiencing long security wait times, the week before it expects 150,000 out-of-town visitors for the Super Bowl.

“Over the next 21 days, I expect both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith,” Trump said. “This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole, beautiful and wonderful nation.”

Tweet This

The shutdown began on Dec. 22 and left some 800,000 government employees furloughed after Trump demanded $5.7 billion for his coveted border wall. Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, rejected it on the grounds that a wall would be costly, ineffective and immoral.

Trump, whose Republicans control the Senate, has insisted the wall is necessary to curb illegal immigration and increase security along the southern border.

“We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea. We never did,” Trump said. “We never proposed that. We never wanted that because we have barriers at the border where natural structures are as good as anything that we could build.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our proposed structures will be in predetermined, high-risk locations that have been specifically identified by the Border Patrol to stop illicit flows of people and drugs,” Trump said.

WATCH: Schumer says Trump ‘agreed to our request’ to end shutdown

Schumer: Trump ‘agreed to our request’ to end government shutdown
Schumer: Trump ‘agreed to our request’ to end government shutdown

The president also hinted that he has decided not to declare a national emergency at this time, but could in the future.

“I have a very powerful alternative but I didn’t want to use it at this time, hopefully, it will be unnecessary,” Trump said.

Multiple reports have said the arrangement would leave his request for wall funding for later talks.

WATCH: Pelosi ‘optimistic’ compromise solution on immigration can be reached

Pelosi ‘optimistic’ compromise solution on immigration can be reached
Pelosi ‘optimistic’ compromise solution on immigration can be reached

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would pass legislation on Friday to reopen the government after a record-long 35 day shutdown. It later did.

“I hope Democrats will stay true to the commitment they have stated constantly over the past weeks – that once government was re-opened, they would be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers,” he said from the Senate floor.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: ‘Lock him up!’ crowd chants as Trump ally Roger Stone denies all charges

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the deal reaffirms what the Democrats have been calling for from the beginning and said both parties can negotiate “without holding workers hostage.”

“As Democrats have said all along, the solution to this impasse was to separate funding the government from our disagreements over border security,” Schumer said Friday afternoon. “This agreement endorses that position.”

“The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers or an unrelated political dispute,” he said. “Working people throughout America empathized with the federal workers and were aghast at what the president was doing to them. Hopefully now the president has learned his lesson.”

Tweet This

A Washington Post-ABC News opinion poll published Friday showed that a majority of Americans hold Trump and congressional Republicans most responsible for the shutdown, while public disapproval for the president increased to 58 percent over three months.

The poll also found that more than one in five Americans say they have been personally inconvenienced by the shutdown.

*With files from Reuters