Trump Confirms Government Will Reopen Until Feb. 15, Workers To Get Back Pay As Soon As Possible

This story has been updated.

The White House and Congress reached a deal Friday to reopen the government for at least three weeks while congressional leaders and President Donald Trump continue to negotiate over money for border security.

The short-term funding deal ends for now the 35-day shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, but comes without Congress so far agreeing to give Trump the more than $5 billion he has sought to build a wall at the Mexican border.

The short-term funding bill will keep the government open until Feb. 15, and in the interim, talks on the border wall funding, and the possibility of other concessions, will continue.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump thanked federal employees for their patience, calling them "incredible patriots."

He said he would continue to press for money for a physical wall, and used most of the time in his speech to again make the case for its necessity. A wall at the border, Trump said, was just "common sense."

It wasn't immediately clear when the 800,000 federal employees in the affected agencies, many of whom missed their second paycheck on Friday, would be expected to return to work. Some of those workers had been furloughed during the shutdown, while essential employees were working without pay, though with expectations they'll receive back-pay.

Trump said if he doesn't "get a fair deal from Congress" in the next three weeks the government would shut down again, or he could use emergency powers to keep it open.

"We will have great security," Trump said.

Rising Consequences

The decision was already being seen by many political pundits as a cave-in by Trump, who had kept the government closed while holding out for the wall funding, and said recently that the shutdown could go on for "months or even years."

The move to end the 35-day shutdown, at least temporarily, came on a day when its consequences to the average American – beyond government employees – came into focus as airline flights backed up on the east coast because of air traffic controller absences and concerns emerged that the IRS would see delays in processing tax returns.

It also came a day after the Senate failed to pass a proposal by Trump to reopen the government that would have exchanged wall funding for some legal protections for certain undocumented immigrants.

Earlier Friday, the shutdown caused airline delays on the East Coast, including a brief halt to flights heading into New York’s LaGuardia airport, because of air traffic controller short-staffing.

Related Links:

Wilbur Ross On Government Workers, The Shutdown And China Trade Deal

What You Need To Know About Government Shutdowns

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