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Trump's retreat: Shutdown ends without wall money - for now

 

January 26, 2019



WASHINGTON (AP) — Submitting to mounting pressure and growing disruption, President Donald Trump agreed to a deal Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.

Standing alone in the Rose Garden, Trump said he would sign legislation funding shuttered agencies until Feb. 15 and try again to persuade lawmakers to finance his long-sought wall. The deal he reached with congressional leaders contains no new money for the wall but ends the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

The Senate swiftly and unanimously approved the deal and the House was ready to follow suit and send the legislation to Trump for his signature.

Trump’s retreat came in the 35th day of the partial shutdown as intensifying delays at the nation’s airports and another missed payday for hundreds of thousands of federal workers brought new urgency to efforts to resolve the standoff.

The shutdown was ending as Democratic leaders had insisted it must — reopen the government first, then talk border security.

Trump still made the case for a border wall and maintained he might again shut down the government over it. Yet, as negotiations restart, Trump enters them from a weakened position. Recent polls found Trump bore the blame for the shutdown.

“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” Trump said.

The president has said he could declare a national emergency in order to fund the border wall unilaterally if Congress doesn’t provide the money. Such a move would almost certainly face legal hurdles.

As part of the deal with congressional leaders, a bipartisan committee of House and Senate lawmakers was being formed to consider border spending as part of the legislative process in the weeks ahead.

“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.”

The deal includes back pay some 800,000 federal workers who have gone without paychecks. The Trump administration promises to pay them as soon as possible.

 
 

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