Tentative agreement reached to end partial government shutdown- for now
WASHINGTON – After 35 days of a partial government shutdown, it seems that a tentative agreement has been reached.
On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced that the longest shutdown in U.S. history has come to an end, at least temporarily.
“We have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said.
The agreement that has been reached would reopen the government for three weeks while leaving the issue of the border wall up for future debates.
Trump said the measure, which will go before the Senate, will reopen the government until Feb. 15. He also added that all federal employees should receive back pay “as soon as possible.”
Once the measure is passed, lawmakers would have three weeks to talk about funding for Trump’s standing border wall.
Trump said if the border funding isn’t acquired by Feb. 15, the government will either shut down again or he will declare a national emergency.
“This is an opportunity for all parties to work together,” Trump said.
The agreement came as several major airports across the country were forced to delay flights as staffing levels dropped.
Early Friday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that air traffic was delayed at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey due to staffing issues at a regional air traffic control center.
There was also concern regarding tax filing season, and the thousands of IRS agents who would have to report to work without pay.
The shutdown began in December after negotiations between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the president’s demands for a $5.7 billion border wall stalled.
Oklahoma congressman Tom Cole and senator James Lankford both released statements supporting the reopening.
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement:
“I am relieved that agreement has been reached to reopen the government and pay the hundreds of thousands of federal workers suffering as a result. Their commitment despite this hardship has been tremendous,” said Cole. “Through his announcement today, the president demonstrated yet again that he is willing to negotiate in good faith, and Democrats are now out of excuses for refusing to do so as well. In the weeks ahead, it is critical that Democrats stay true to their promise of working with Republicans and the president on solutions for border security. I believe we can find a compromise that both sides agree on and which reflects the views of the American people.”
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today offered cautious optimism:
“The President and leaders in the House and Senate agreed that we need to pay federal workers and continue the ongoing dialogue on immigration and border security,” said Lankford. “I am incredibly grateful for federal workers, whose dedicated service has been highlighted for the whole country to be proud of, but they should not have been put in this situation. For their sake, I supported passage of a bill to provide full-year funding so federal workers do not have to live in the shadow of a threat of another shutdown in three weeks. We could have finished the work to fully fund the government and provide border security, but resolving it for three weeks is a good step forward. Democrats promised the President that if they had three weeks they could come to the table on border security. Trust is earned, and Washington can use more of it. The President trusted Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, and I look forward to successful negotiations on border security going forward.”