A little after 2:30 Eastern, President Trump announced at a White House address that a deal has been made to temporarily reopen the federal government. After 35 days, 50% longer than the previous record, this has been the longest shutdown in our nation’s history.
At this time, 800,000 government workers have been working without pay, meaning they have missed at least two paychecks and morale among government workers is at an all-time low. TSA and FAA agents have been reportedly calling in sick en masse to avoid working without pay, leaving most major airports with long delays.
During his address, President Trump continues to float his ‘alternative’ measure to fund the border wall without the approval of Congress. Declaring a national emergency at the Southern border would, in theory, give him the green light to divert military funding toward the Department of Homeland Security for wall construction.
He thanks “all of the incredible federal employees and their amazing families for such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship.” Trump calls them “fantastic people” and continues to praise their grit during the unprecedently long shutdown. He acknowledges their sacrifice and the tough time many had gone through. With the unexpectantly long duration, many who might have been living paycheck to paycheck would have gone through a very rough time.
This new budget will fund the government for only 3-weeks, until February 15th. The plan includes back pay for all federal employees, which will come “very quickly” to the 800,000 affected workers.
He says he believes Democrats will now be willing to recognize the need of a physical barrier on the border. A bipartisan committee of both Republicans and Democrats will begin negotiating immigration and border security reform during the 3-week period of government funding and will review requests made from board patrol and Homeland Security officials.
Despite the shutdown being about the wall, no deal has been made up to this point. The wall remains unfunded at this time. President Trump says “the wall should not be controversial” because the US has built over 600 miles of fencing over the last several decades.
He says the wall will keep drugs out and prevent people from making the dangerous journey across the Mexican desert.
He describes it as a “smart wall” with detection technology, and see-through capability that will be built in high-risk locations identified by border patrol agents. He continues to push for the border reform package proposed earlier this week that was block by Pelosi and Schumer.
There is no wall, there is no reform, nor any deal in sight. Democrats have continued to refuse any proposals presented to them.
Schumer gleefully responded to President Trump’s caving. Schumer wanted to block any border security discussion being tied to government funding. He does not want to ‘hold workers hostage’ in the border security battle. He also called the Republican tactics ” self-defeating.”
Categories: U.S. News