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Trump signs bill reopening government after longest shutdown in history

By
Danielle Haynes
President Donald Trump pauses before making remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
President Donald Trump pauses before making remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump signed a short-term spending bill Friday, reopening the federal government on Day 35 of the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

The Senate and House passed the legislation, which funds the government for three weeks, earlier in the evening

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"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government," Trump said Friday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden.

The deal temporarily lifts the federal shutdown, but does not include the $5.7 billion Trump requested to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal workers who have been on furlough or working without pay would receive back pay "very quickly or as soon as possible," the president said.

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"It's sad, though, that it's taken this long to come to this conclusion," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a news conference with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Once the government is reopened, a bipartisan conference committee in Congress will review Department of Homeland Security requests for border security. Trump called for congressional leaders to "put country before party."

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"Many disagree, but I really feel that working with Democrats and Republicans, we can make a truly great and secure deal happen for everyone," he said.

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Schumer said that though Democrats don't agree with Republicans on some specifics of border security, they do see eye-to-eye on some issues -- increased drug inspection technology and humanitarian aid at the border.

"That bodes well for finding an eventual agreement," he said.

Trump hinted he could turn to declaring a national emergency if doesn't get the border wall funding in new negotiations.

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"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15 -- again -- or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," he said.

The government shutdown, in its 35th day, began in December after Trump refused to sign a stopgap funding bill -- passed by both the House and Senate -- because it didn't include the wall money.

The newly Democrat-controlled House has refused to add the funding into its legislation, while the Republican-controlled Senate has ceded to Trump's demands.

The shutdown has left 800,000 federal employees on furlough or working without pay. Many missed their second paycheck Friday, and some have applied for unemployment. It is the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

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A little more than half of those employees are considered essential and are working without pay -- including airport screeners and controllers.

The Transportation Security Administration has required employees to work without pay for weeks, but a higher number of workers have been calling in sick since the shutdown began.

On Friday, a lack of air traffic controllers crippled flights throughout the Northeast, and New York City's LaGuardia Airport stopped all flights arriving at the airport. Air traffic also was delayed in Philadelphia and Newark, N.J.

On Thursday, the Senate failed to pass either of two bills to end the shutdown. One, proposed by Trump and backed by McConnell, would've funded the government through the end of the fiscal year in September and included money for the border wall.

The Democrat-backed bill funded the government through Feb. 8 and included no border wall funding.

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