Donald Trump agrees to temporarily open federal government, ends longest shutdown in US history
In a surprise move, US President Donald Trump has agreed to open the federal government without any fund for building the border wall ahead of the scheduled State of the Union Address in Washington on Saturday. The announcement means that the US government would open, albeit temporarily. Trump’s sudden remark ends the longest shutdown in the US history. “I will sign a bill to open our Government for three weeks until February 15th. I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly,” Trump said in a brief address outside the Oval Office. The White House took to Twitter to inform about the decision. “President Trump supports reopening the Government now that many Democrats have finally agreed to negotiate on border security and barrier funding. While we hope that Congress finds a solution in the next 3 weeks, the President will continue to keep all options on the table,” the White House said in a series of tweets.
The tweets also hinted that Trump agreed to open the government after apparent support from the Democrats. “Dozens of rank-and-file Democrats have reached out to the Administration and signaled they are willing to provide wall funding if the Government reopens. The President made a good-faith offer, and there's real opportunity to do things that BOTH parties want (sic),” the White House said. Regarding the future of the brief relief, Trump said that, “"If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the Government will either shutdown on February 15th again—or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”
The announcement came on the 36th day of the UWs shutdown. The State of the Union Address, which is scheduled for January 29 will see lots of fireworks. With House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi not relenting, the Democrats and the republicans are appeared to be headed for a collision on SOTU. Throughout the shutdown, the Democrats have repeatedly voted to reopen government so that federal workers can pay their bills.
Functioning of several key wings of the US government, including Security and State departments, has been paralysed for nearly four weeks now because of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
President Trump insists that building a wall is the only solution to protect the nation from a large flow of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling.
The Democrats are opposed to any such funding. After Trump walked out of a meeting at the White House last week, Democrats have refused to come to the negotiation table.
Pelosi and the Democratic party argue that such a funding is a wastage of tax payers payer and does not reflect the ethos of American culture.
The divide between the parties has led to some 800,000 federal government employees being rendered without work.
The ongoing shutdown on January 12 broke the previous record of 21 days of US government shutdown under the Bill Clinton administration in December 16, 1995 to January 5, 1996.
Besides the border issue, the divide between Trump and Pelosi deepened after he denied her a military plane for an "excursion" to Brussels and war-torn Afghanistan, a tit-for-tat retaliation after the House Speaker asked the president to reschedule his annual State of the Union address slated for January 29.
Pelosi, who is third in line to the presidency, had made the suggestion citing security reasons triggered by the shutdown that has entered its 28th day.
(With inputs from agencies)