Trump announces deal to reopen government

January 25, 2019 - 23:9

TEHRAN – President Donald Trump on Friday announced that a deal has been reached to end the shutdown and reopen the government.

The announcement came as the partial government shutdown stretched to 35 days, the longest in U.S. history.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce an agreement to temporarily reopen the federal government after the longest shutdown in U.S. history, according to multiple people familiar with the tentative deal.

The agreement, which has been hashed out with congressional leaders, would fund the government through Feb. 15 while negotiators work out a larger immigration and border security compromise, the sources said. The deal does not include funding for the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. White House aides and others close to the process cautioned that state of play remains fluid, adding that Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute.

The pending announcement comes as lawmakers of both parties are looking to the White House for guidance as they search for a way out of the 35-day partial shutdown. Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but Democrats have refused to budge.

A decision by Trump to embrace a continuing resolution to briefly reopen the government would mark a major reversal by the president, who has repeatedly rebuffed the idea. During a meeting last week with a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, Trump worried that he might not be able to get funding for his border wall if he agreed to reopen the government while negotiations continue.

“If I open it up, it’s going to be hard to shut down again," Trump said, according to a person in the room.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he was unsure what the president would say, but added that the president’s remarks could end the shutdown, “at least temporarily.”

“Hopefully he’ll say something that will give us a path forward,” Thune said on Friday afternoon.

Two Republican aides familiar with the discussions said they believed Trump might declare a national emergency to get funds for his wall if Democrats and Republicans can't reach after briefly reopening the government.

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment, though some aides cautioned that the agreement was tentative.

The White House has been scrambling to come up with a new approach to ending the shutdown after the Senate on Thursday failed to pass Trump's proposal to reopen the government. The offer would have given temporary legal protection to some undocumented immigrants in exchange for funding for a southern border wall. Only one Democrat voted for the measure, while six Republicans backed a competing Democratic plan to reopen the government through Feb. 8 in the latest signal that the GOP is eager to end the stalemate.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday and spoke to Trump on Thursday, said a series of airport delays that have rippled across the country are “signs of things to come” during the shutdown. He’s been urging the president to endorse the idea of briefly reopening the government to have a three-week immigration debate.

Yet a similar proposal from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was killed in the Senate on Thursday under pressure from the White House to oppose it. GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah argued at a Republican party lunch in favor of the offering, according to a person familiar with the lunch, but Vice President Mike Pence stumped for the president's plan and GOP unity instead.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday postponed a scheduled press conference as House leaders waited to see what the president would announce. Senators have been told to stay in Washington. Though the House is no longer in session, many House Democrats have decided to stay in town as news of a potential deal spreads. If the Senate acts on Friday, the House could potentially approve a continuing resolution by Saturday, Democratic sources said.

The Senate opened at noon on Friday, but McConnell planned to speak later in the day after the president’s announcement.

On Friday morning, a wave of airport delays hit the East Coast, which some saw as a visible sign that pressure was mounting on the White House to end the shutdown.

"The President has been briefed and we are monitoring the ongoing delays at some airports. We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Friday.

Source: politico

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