Our long national nightmare is over — for now.
President Donald Trump announced from the Rose Garden Friday that he had agreed to reopen the government temporarily and give Congress a chance to debate security at the country’s southern border.
Congress expected to vote on two measures: One to re-open the government and the other to give three weeks to tackle the border security issue.
The bottom line? Funding for the government through Feb. 15, back pay for federal workers, and — most importantly for Democrats — no funding for a border wall.
“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” said Trump. “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 the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.”
“Ultimately, this agreement endorses our position. It reopens the government without preconditions, gives Democrats and Republicans an opportunity to discuss border security without holding hundreds of thousands of American workers hostage,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Disagreement in policy should never be a reason to shut down government, really shouldn’t. Especially, again, for a period of time that has an impact on paychecks and I’m sad it has taken this long. I’m glad that we’ve come to a conclusion today as to how we go forward in the next three weeks,” said House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The deal is a relief for the 800,000 federal workers — 5,000 or so from New Jersey — who’ve been furloughed or working without pay for over a month.
But this fight laid bare the deep divisions between Democrats and the president, so no guarantees that we won’t be back here next month, discussing another shutdown.