Congress Votes to Re-Open Government, Back Pay Coming ASAP

Saul Bowman
January 28, 2019

President Trump announces a deal to temporarily reopen the government, in the Rose Garden of the White House, on Friday.

Trump defended himself Saturday (Sunday NZ time) from the conservative backlash to his decision to end the 35-day-old partial government shutdown - the longest in USA history - without money for his promised border wall.

"I hope our Democratic friends will stay true to the commitment they've stated constantly over the past weeks, that once government was reopened, they'd be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on a full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers", McConnell said.

The Capitol is seen at dawn on the 21st day of a partial government shutdown as an impasse continues between President Donald Trump and Democrats over funding his promised wall on the U.S. -Mexico border, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

The announcement of a path forward comes on Day 32 of the longest government shutdown in American history.

Mulvaney added that's a "marked difference from where the Democrat leadership was, where they said they wouldn't talk to us about border security ever".

While the Trump administration is promising to pay federal workers as soon as possible, a senior official says agencies are in charge of their own payroll issues and workers should check with their departments for details about when the back pay will arrive.

"After inflicting enormous suffering on federal employees and those who depend on government services, the President is finally reopening the government with the same deal that was on the table in December".

Poll show most Americans blamed Trump for the painful shutdown - the longest of its kind in US history.

The lapse in funding has shuttered about one-quarter of federal agencies, with about 800,000 workers either furloughed or required to work without pay. The president and Congress now have until February 15 to reach an agreement.

In one of the many effects of the shutdown, hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at airports in the NY area and Philadelphia on Friday as more air traffic controllers called in sick.

All that for an agreement that contains no guarantee Pelosi and her fellow Democrats will provide a dime for Trump's wall, which Pelosi has called "immoral" and has said Congress will not finance. Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in. "It's a national emergency", Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

But the US President warned his battle with the Democrat-led house of representatives is not over and said the government would shut down again if "we don't get a fair deal from Congress".

"In many cases you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about all our country and about its border security", he said.

Meanwhile, Democrats celebrated the end of the shutdown and expressed determination to prevent a repeat in the future.

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While the USA public overwhelmingly blamed Trump for the shutdown, the Republican party sought to blame Democrats, a sign of potential trouble ahead as negotiations between the sides resume.

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