Trump Endorses Short-Term Spending Bill to End Shutdown

Arturo Kim
January 26, 2019

Republican and Democratic leaders hunted Friday for a way to halt the 35-day partial government shutdown, but remained at odds over President Donald Trump's demand that any compromise include money for his coveted border wall.

In response to President Donald Trump agreeing to reopen the federal government without any funds to go towards a border wall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he hopes Trump has learned his lesson.

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist who is in regular contact with the White House, said Trump will be able to push for wall funding over the next three weeks without the distraction of a shutdown and that his supporters should wait to judge his efforts.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the government", Trump told reporters outside the White House.

The partial government shutdown has dragged on for 35 days, the longest in USA history, as hundreds of thousands of federal workers have gone without paychecks.

Some 800,000 federal workers have either been idled or are working without pay as a result of the shutdown. Fox News wrote that Trump agreed to take the deal "despite a day earlier saying Republicans would not "cave" on his demands for funding for a wall on the southern border".

The group, many of them new House members, appeared in the chamber Thursday to provide "solidarity" with senators who voted to end the partial government shutdown.

Pressure to end the shutdown increased on Friday after air traffic was delayed at two New York-area airports - LaGuardia and Newark - in addition to Philadelphia International Airport due to staffing issues at a Federal Aviation Administration regional air traffic control center.

A Senate Republican aide said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to press for passage of a three-week funding bill on Friday.

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In the Senate, both a Republican-backed proposal and a Democrat-sponsored measure failed to reach the 60 votes needed.

Trump said on Thursday he would accept such a measure only if it included a "prorated down payment" on the border wall.

The president had previously insisted on the inclusion of $5.7 billion to help pay for a wall along the vast US-Mexico border in any legislation to fund government agencies. "In a short while, I will sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks until February 15".

"This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the betterment of our whole, beautiful, wonderful nation", the President said. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said Friday that it is still up for Pelosi and Trump to take the lead, even as a clamor is growing in the Senate for McConnell and Schumer to grab the reins. But the Senate has now proposed a few bills of its own, showing that the GOP is eager to do anything it can to try to pass the blame back to the Democrats.

The announcement comes after a pair of rival spending bills were voted down in the Senate on Thursday.

Some of Trump's most conservative supporters turned on him after he announced the deal, including author Ann Coulter, who called him a "wimp" in a tweet.

Polls have shown that the public is blaming Trump for the shutdown and his approval numbers have sunk as the impasse drags on.

Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.

The measure would have also provided three years of continued protection against deportation for 700,000 immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.

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