Trump Government Shutdown

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House Friday in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Yielding to mounting pressure and growing disruption, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders on Friday reached a short-term deal to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations continue over the president's demands for money to build his long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump announced the agreement to break the 35-day impasse as intensifying delays at the nation's airports and widespread disruptions brought new urgency to efforts to resolve the standoff.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," he said from the Rose Garden.

After saying for weeks that he would not reopen the government without border wall money, Trump said he would soon sign a bill to re-open the government through Feb. 15 without additional money for his signature campaign promise. He said that a bipartisan committee of lawmakers would be formed to consider border spending before the new deadline.

"They are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the security of the American people first," Trump said. He asserted that "barrier or walls will be an important part of the solution."

But he hinted that he was still considering taking unilateral action if efforts to come up with money for his wall fail. "I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn't want to use it at this time," he said.

Overnight and into Friday, at least five Republican senators had been calling Trump, urging him to reopen the government and have the Senate consider his request for border wall money through regular legislation, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to discuss the private talks publicly.

The breakthrough came as LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey both experienced at least 90-minute delays in takeoffs Friday due to the shutdown. And the world's busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — was experiencing long security wait times, a warning sign the week before it expects 150,000 out-of-town visitors for the Super Bowl.

Trump and the Democrats in Congress had remained at odds over his demand that any compromise include money for his coveted border wall.

The standoff became so severe that, as the Senate opened with prayer, Chaplain Barry Black called on high powers in the "hour of national turmoil" to help senators do "what is right."

Senators were talking with increased urgency after Thursday's defeat of competing proposals from Trump and the Democrats. The bipartisan talks provided a glimmer of hope that some agreement could be reached to halt the longest-ever closure of federal agencies, at least temporarily.

"There are discussions on the Senate side," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Friday morning as she entered the Capitol. "We are in touch with them." Asked about Trump's demands for border security measures as part of a bill temporarily reopening government, Pelosi said, "One step at a time."

Pelosi was referring to a meeting Thursday between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to explore next steps for solving the vitriolic stalemate.

Pressure has been building among both parties to reopen agencies immediately and pay hundreds of thousands of beleaguered federal workers while bargainers hunt for a deal.

Monday is the start of federal tax filing season. But fewer than half of the furloughed IRS employees recalled during the shutdown to handle tax returns and send out refunds reported for work as of Tuesday, according to congressional and government aides. The employees had been told to work without pay.

At the White House Thursday, Trump told reporters he'd support "a reasonable agreement" to reopen the government. He suggested he'd also want a "prorated down payment" for his long-sought border wall with Mexico but didn't describe the term. He said he has "other alternatives" for getting wall money, an apparent reference to his disputed claim that he could declare a national emergency and fund the wall's construction using other programs in the federal budget.

Contributing to the pressure on lawmakers to find a solution was the harsh reality confronting 800,000 federal workers, who on Friday faced a second two-week payday with no paychecks.

A Democratic proposal to end the shutdown got two more votes in the Senate on Thursday than a GOP plan, even though Republicans control the chamber 53-47. Six Republicans backed the Democratic plan, including freshman Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who's clashed periodically with the president.

The Senate first rejected a Republican plan reopening the government through September and giving Trump the $5.7 billion he's demanded for building segments of that wall, a project that he'd long promised Mexico would finance. The 50-47 vote for the measure fell 10 shy of the 60 votes needed to succeed.

Minutes later, senators voted 52-44 for a Democratic alternative that sought to open padlocked agencies through Feb. 8 with no wall money. That was eight votes short. It was aimed at giving bargainers time to seek an accord while getting paychecks to government workers who are either working without pay or being forced to stay home.

Thursday's votes came after Vice President Mike Pence lunched privately with restive GOP senators, who told him they were itching for the standoff to end, participants said. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said their message to Pence was, "Find a way forward."

Throughout, the two sides issued mutually exclusive demands that have blocked negotiations from even starting: Trump has refused to reopen government until Congress gives him the wall money, and congressional Democrats have rejected bargaining until he reopens government.

(12) comments

Copper

Illegal immigration is at its lowest since 1999 . All the experts agree that there are more effective ways on keeping illegal immigrants out . Not one says it’s a wall. More illegals are coming through airports than across the border. There are tunnels under already existing border fences. We have never in the history of our country had a medieval wall built across the border. It’s absolutely a ludicrous waste of money. The government would have to seize private held land through imminent domain. Build on sacred lands owned by the Native Americans , the damage to sensitive and fragile flora and fauna would be devastating . All for a non viable solution. This was Trump’s absurd monument to his own megalomania. Shameful and embarrassing presidency probably in the history of our great country. I’m sure the first president to be owned and operated by a Russian President for sure. Amazing how his circle are dropping like flies to corruption.

She Dee

@Copper- This is why I have always tried to warn people about Trump being a real estate Mogul. He's big on LAND GRABS...But rich & ignorant people don't care what the rest of us think because they voted him in. Wait til the Afro Americans start losing their land when they get their gov farm grants & have a failed crop. Will the Trump Admin assist them to be successful farmers? No...they will just seize the land that has been protected for generations after slavery was abolished & they could not apply for USDA loans. Trump recently signed a bill opening up BILLIONS to assist black farmers. I was dismayed when I read about on on Farm News. It's a land grab scam or the worst kind. Ending their protection & making them the next victims of yet another way to take the land...Just like they did to so many of the Native Americans.

She Dee

CORRECTION- I listed the wrong website. It was Modern Farmer. Not Farm News.

Vico17

You are a SAD example of a human being. I consided you click bait for TBC and I am tired of dealing with you. Yet, I'll remind you one last time the KKK was started by Democrats. NAZI party a Socialist group. ANTIFA White rich kids in Portland, San Fransisco, Seattle following the tactics of fascist governments and violent, oppression groups. You want to talk about Morality? Lets mention Bill Clinton and Hillary and Kamala and the killing of millions of unborn children, drug consumption and trafficking, sanctuary for cop killers and the continued fabrication of lies, slander and libel character assassination of anyone opposing the failed idea of Socialist, Communist loons. I can point to your 1st post on this article and highlight your slanderous comments and lies about our President. And lastly, if walls don't work, let's have Nancy Pelosi and all Hollywood perverts knock down all their 10 foot walls around their multi-million dollar estates. If walls don't work why has every culture in the history of human kind built them for protection? Have you heard of the Great wall of China, Hadrian's Wall in northern England, Isreal's modern wall to keep terrorists out of Jerusalem? I am old enough to remember restuarant bombings before that wall practically ended Palestinian suicides. Imagine that. But, you go ahead and continue spreading lies and hate. The reason Conservatives don't like talking to liberals is because it's impossible to argue with people who refuse to use logic or think. Good luck to you. Drugs are bad for the brain.

Copper

And another non sensical rant from an uneducated trump cult follower who ignores facts and starts out attacking others . Are you sure this is a real person or a Russian ran republican operative working with trump to destroy our country. You said I spread lies. Name 1 lie in any of my posts. I guess you’re smarter that all the border security experts too, who recommend more effective ways of controlling our borders than a wall. You Vico17 are clearly the hate monger , probably still mad we had a black president , huh? Democrat and republican parties both evolve and changed over time . That’s a lame point. But your Russian puppet daddy was Kkk and he clearly thinks white supremacy muderers are good people too. Can’t change what’s come out if trump’s mouth. No matter how the fake Christian fundamentalist right wing choose to keep their heads in the sand over this disgraceful presidency.

She Dee

@Vico17- I was once a very vocal Activist for Equal Rights & Women's Rights & Farmworker's Rights.. Most of my group is either dead, silent, or just doesn't care anymore. I happen to be one of those Liberals who has moved on into the realm of Progressive & there is nothing to debate these days. We must fight to keep what little rights we still have left. I won't even take prescription drugs & I don't do street drugs or marijuana. So your parting remark about drugs does not apply to me. It did in the 60's & 70's. Then I had a child, ran a successful business & failed to notice the world falling apart. I left the Republican Party because of "logic" such as yours. What you see as "slander" I see as "honesty". I honestly don't like Donald J Trump. In America that is not slander. It's a Constitutional right.

She Dee

We can only hope the President uses those 3 weeks to learn & realize how many good people he hurts by cutting off their wages. The US needs to work on changing the laws in order for this type of a shutdown to never take place again! If a person works, they get paid. If they get laid off, they receive unemployment benefits. Simple.

Copper

He wall is the stupidest idea ever . Another failure of a lame duck President add that to his list of his failures including his many failed business that went bankrupt. I hope his base has come to their senses that this imposter-in-chief ,Putin’s puppet President should be replaced in 2020.

RefereeB

Absurd. Walls work as history proves. If not, why would people pay extra to live in gated communities and even more when they have guarded entrances? While I understand Trump’s capitulation, it is very disappointing. Had Kaving (Kevin) McCarthy done his job we wouldn’t be here, but in a better place.

Our current state of affairs is unsustainable. Just like the State and City pensions. Our State and Country have lost their moral and fiscal compasses. We have no effective leadership.

This all reminds me of when Harry Kissinger spoke at the BFL Business Conference twenty years ago. He was asked the difference between the leaders he worked with and current ones. He said “I used to be asked for solutions to problems, now I am only asked what to say.”

Our sound bite/social media society has created an immoral and decadent society taking us all into the abyss.

Vico17

Ref: I agree 100%. Morons like Copper get on this blog an exemplifies what is wrong with this country. Hate, hate, hate, vitriol, allegation, garbage they pick up from #FAKENEWS #CNN, #MSNBC. Polls say 50% of students graduating from college and universities believe in Socialism, despite the horrific history of that failed, corrupt dictatorial form of government. Yet, they come on here and try to connect our President and Putin when in fact the left loons are in fact closer ideologically to those fail, murderous regimes--Russia, China, Nazi, Cuba, Venezuela. I have kids in the Cal St. University system and I am worried my money is being wasted on these moronic professors spewing Socialist cr@p. President Trump is this nation's last hope. Feb. 15th he should declare a national emergency and clean this whole mess up by ending sanctuary policies, deporting criminals, and upholding the rule of law.

Copper

Vico17 funny yiur the first person to personally attack someone having civil discussions about the wall. Yet you are saying I’m hateful? Smell sociopathic projection anybody? You are exactly what’s wrong with this fraud -in-chief and and his base. Which is shrinking by the day as his policies actually hurt them. I believe you are confusing socialism with dictatorial communistic regimes. Most Western European countries are a light form of socialistic society. With universal healthcare, free college , mental health facilities and services. Etc. Funny thing these countries citizens rate as living on the happiest healthiest countries in the world where United States rates much lower. Hmm. If you can’t contribute to a though provoking discussion based in fact go back to FOX news the real “fake “ news station .

Copper

What country has a wall worked? Oh North Korea and Berlin? I thought we wanted to tear down the walls? Didn’t Reagan say that? So you actually believe a wall as built by communistic dictatorships are good for America. No wonder you support a president who’s inner circle are in bed with Russia . Immorality is as old as man. It is also immoral to cheat on youre wife(trump) , lie (trump), jail and loose children ( trump) don’t have time to go on with his long list of immoral behavior. Yet he is yiur standard of moral!? Lol. No words. This country has become a much more moral country than ever before. Ending slavery, ggiving woman and people of color the right to vote,giving all people civil rights, trying to improve access to healthcare for all,giving , fair education opportunities, domestic violence policies, sexual violence protections. Etc. I guess that is all bad. This Presidency and his many immoral appointees are rolling back as much as these civil human progress as they can. That’s immoral .

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