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Temporary Agreement Reached, Trump Ends Historic Government Shutdown

Trump says barriers must be part of final border security plan, as he reopens government without new wall money

January 25, 2019 - 12:11 pm

WASHINGTON D.C. (97.1 FM/AP) - For 21 days the U.S. government will be open again after President Donald Trump signed an agreement to bring a temporary end to the partial government shutdown. Trump says barriers must be part of the final border security plan, as he reopens government without new wall money.   

The partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22 and has furloughed hundreds of thousands of federal workers, with some continuing their work, but receiving partial pay. For 35 days, President Donald Trump and Congress have been unable to agree on a resolution to end the partial shutdown.

It is the government's longest-ever shutdown, the longest previous shutdown was 21 days in 1995-96, when Bill Clinton was president.

Politco contributor Jake Sherman was among the first to report, the President will be making an announcment Friday afternoon.

Trump  postponed his State of the Union address, saying he will wait until the partial government shutdown ends, after a weeklong showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump conceded Wednesday night that "no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber." He said he was not looking for an alternate option after Pelosi served notice earlier in the day that he wouldn't be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.

Pelosi had taken the step after Trump said he planned to show up in spite of Democratic objections to the speech taking place with large swaths of the government shut down.

"As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed," Trump tweeted shortly after 11 p.m. EST. "She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over."

Fireworks over the speech shot back and forth between the Capitol and the White House as the monthlong partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending and about 800,000 federal workers faced the prospect of going without their second paycheck in a row come Friday.

Pelosi told Trump the House wouldn't approve a resolution allowing him to address Congress until the shutdown ended. Trump shot back that Pelosi was afraid of hearing the truth.

"I think that's a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love," Trump said earlier Wednesday. "It's a great, great horrible mark."

The drama surrounding the State of the Union address began last week when Pelosi asked Trump to make other plans but stopped short of denying him the chamber for his address. Trump called her bluff Wednesday in a letter, saying he intended to come anyway.

The gamesmanship unfolded as the Senate prepared to vote this week on dueling proposals on the shutdown. A Republican one would give Trump money for the wall while one from Democrats would re-open government through Feb. 8, with no wall money, giving bargainers time to talk about it.

Both proposals were likely to fail to reach the 60-vote threshold needed in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. As well, House Democrats were putting forward a new proposal, aiming to lure Trump away from his demand for a border wall by offering billions of new dollars for other border security measures.

White House officials have been working on a backup plan to have Trump give the speech somewhere else if Democrats blocked access to the House chamber. Nevertheless, they were rattled by Pelosi's move Wednesday and expressed concern it would further sour shutdown negotiations.