On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that he and congressional leaders made a deal to fund and open the government for three weeks, bring the country’s longest government shutdown on record to an end.
The continuing resolution proposed by lawmakers will reopen nine unfunded U.S. Government departments just as around 800,000 federal workers missed their second paychecks. Earlier on Friday, a shortage of air traffic controllers caused flight delays and temporary closures at several major U.S. airports.
After failing to pass two bills to reopen the government in the Senate on Thursday, talks to find an end to the current impasse began in earnest. It is believed that Trump is considering reopening the government for three weeks without receiving money for his border wall.
Of course, this leaves open the possibility that lawmakers could fail to come to terms on border security and money for the border wall, resulting in another shutdown situation in mid-February.
In a press conference announcing the deal, Trump stated, “as everyone knows I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn’t want to use it at this time. Hopefully, it will be unnecessary.”
He also thanked government workers, saying, “You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Not only did you not complain, but in many cases, you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about border security.”
Trump stated that a bipartisan committee will immediately begin reviewing operational guidance from experts in the field in order to put together a homeland security package. He also said that he “expects democrats and republicans to operate in good faith.”
He then expanded on the necessity of the border wall, stating that walls, “keep good people from attempting the dangerous journey because they have a glimmer of hope – with a wall they don’t have that hope.”
Finally, the President ended his statement with an ultimatum:
“Let me be clear – we really have no choice but to build a wall. If we don’t get a fair deal from congress, the gov’t with either shut down again or I will use the powers given to me by the constitution to address this emergency.”