Uncertainty looms for Congress, federal workers despite end of shutdown

World Today

The sun rises behind the U. S. Capitol a day after the Senate rejected competing Democratic and Republican proposals for ending the partial government shutdown, which is the longest in the nation’s history, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

U.S. government employees can finally go back to work and start getting paid.  The government has reopened, but only three-weeks are guaranteed.

During that time, President Donald Trump and Congress will try to resolve their differences. But just how likely is a compromise?

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports from Washington.

After a five-week partial government shutdown, U.S. federal agencies are reopening, starting to resume operations, and get paychecks out to employees.

On Friday, President Trump and his opponents in the Democrat-controlled House of Congress agreed to a deal that will temporarily fund the government until Feb 15.

Analysis by S & P Global credit rating firm has said the shutdown cost the U.S. economy about $6 billion. The shutdown left more than 800,000 federal workers without pay. Around 380,000 of those were ordered to stay home and not answer emails or their work-phones, creating a large backlog.

However, there’s still a fear that we may be heading to another shutdown.

“I don’t think shutdowns are good leverage. It’s a lesson I have certainly learned in my time here,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said. “There’s been two shutdowns since the time I have been there, and the aggressor in neither one was the winner.”

The shutdown began last month after Democrats refused President Trump’s demand that a spending bill to keep the government open includes $5.7 billion to help construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump has said he still wants the money, but Democrats are telling him that he won’t get it. The White House warned it would keep pushing.

“We have been hoping for months to do it through legislation with Democrats because that’s the right way for the government to function,” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said. “But the end of the day the President’s commitment is to defend the nation and he’ll do it either with or without Congress.”

Lester Munson on the end of the longest US government shutdown

CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke with Lester Munson for more about the end of the longest shutdown of the U.S. government. They discussed if both sides can come to a compromise within three weeks. Munson is a Principal in the International division at BGR Group, focusing on Government Affairs