Trump: Deal reached to temporarily reopen US government | US News
A deal has been reached to temporarily reopen US government agencies, amid the longest shutdown in the county’s history.
President Donald Trump announced he has reached an agreement with US congressional leaders to move ahead with a three-week temporary funding bill.
The deal would leave Mr Trump’s request for funding for the US-Mexico border wall for later talks.
The agreement, which will last until 15 February, will either end in funding for the wall or he will use emergency powers, he said.
“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don’t get a fair deal from congress, the government will either shut down again on February 15th or I will use the powers afforded to me… to address this emergency. We will have great security,” he said.
The partial shutdown began on 22 December and entered its 35th day on 25 January, passing the previous record on 12 January.
It lasted longer than the shutdown of 1995-96, which saw then president Bill Clinton clash with Republicans over health, education and other spending.
Mr Trump’s shutdown has affected the work of nine cabinet departments and various smaller agencies – leaving 800,000 workers without pay for almost two months.
The deal comes as the shortage in air traffic controllers sparked delays at major US airports across the country and fewer than half of 26,000 IRS staff recalled to work turned up, raising questions about refunds. Americans begin to file their taxes from Monday.
The shutdown stemmed from Mr Trump’s determination to build a wall on the US border with Mexico and his fight with reluctant Democrats for the $5.6bn (£4bn) required.
In his announcement on Friday, he said the wall would be “smart”, not “medieval”. The wall, or barrier, would be made of steel and have “see-through visibility”, as well as monitors and drones.
“We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shiny sea to shiny sea. We never did,” he said.
“Walls should not be controversial,” he added.
He previously said he would be “proud” to force a shutdown if Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, did not agree to fund the wall and has also threatened to declare a national emergency to overrule them.
Democrats have opposed the wall’s funding, calling it costly, ineffective and immoral.
A meeting between the president and Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schmer ended with an accusation from Democrats that Mr Trump threw a ‘temper tantrum’.
President Trump dismissed the meeting as a “total waste of time” after no agreement was made with House speaker Pelosi and Senate minority leader Schumer.
Those affected have been sharing images on Twitter of their payslips, showing $0 for that month. For many, they have continued to work their usual hours – despite not being paid.