Trump and Congress strike a deal to re-open government for now

World Today

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Jan 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A deal has been brokered to re-open the US government temporarily. But it includes no money for President Donald Trump’s border wall for now. Lawmakers and the President will have three weeks to come to an agreement on border security and to fully fund the government. CGTN’s Sean Callebs has details of the deal.

When it came to ending the political standoff over the partial government shutdown, US President Donald Trump read the writing on the wall. He realized this was a fight he wasn’t going to win.

“I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15th.”

While Trump’s announcement is widely viewed as his caving in to demands to get the US government up and running again, he is not giving up his promise of building a wall along the US southern border.

“I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the security of American people first,” Trump offered as he announced the deal.

Democratic leaders are relishing the victory.

“Disagreements in policy should never be a reason to shut down government,” said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. “It really shouldn’t, for a period of time that has an impact on paychecks.”

Trump has repeatedly demanded $5.7 billion to build a wall dividing the United States from Mexico.

He floated the idea of temporarily re-opening the government for a “down payment” on the wall. But the short-term deal doesn’t provide a penny for the barrier.

Some 800,000 US government workers went without paychecks during the longest government shutdown in American history.

The strain was felt at airports in long security lines and stress among air traffic controllers.

And, now relief.

The head of the union for flight attendants issued a statement, saying “It is wonderful news that there is a deal to end this senseless shutdown, and the lockout of nearly a million Americans from their jobs or their paychecks. This should never have happened and should never happen again.”

But it may very well happen again. Congressional Democrats remain galvanized and vow to not approve billions for a wall.

If he doesn’t get what he wants in the next three weeks, Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency along the US border with Mexico. The move would allow Trump to use emergency funds to build a barrier. But such action is almost guaranteed to draw a legal challenge.

Joe Madison on deal to end government shutdown

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with civil rights activist and radio host Joe Madison about the deal to end the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.