Trump announces short-term plan to reopen government during funding negotiations

Trump announces short-term plan to reopen government during funding negotiations

US President Donald Trump, the Republican-majority Senate and the Democrat-majority House of Representatives have been unable to negotiate their policy differences for more than a month, leaving approximately 800,000 government workers without paychecks.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying that McConnell and Schumer were meeting "to see whether or not they can work out of the deadlock" and indicating that the administration would be open to supporting a three-week stopgap funding measure to reopen the shuttered parts of the government, but only if it included "a large down payment on the wall".

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government", Trump said at the White House. The Kentucky Republican says federal workers who have gone without pay "deserve this resolution". They were the first votes the Senate has taken on funding the government since the December 22 start of the shutdown, now the longest in modern US history.

While staunchly defending his wall project - which he claims is needed to keep out criminals and drug traffickers - Trump made no announcement regarding his demand for $5.7 billion to fund the barrier, a key promise made to his right-wing supporters.

Democrats and other critics doubt or deny the country even needs such a barrier, accusing Trump of twisting facts and figures to overstate the scope of any problem along the country's southern border.

"The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers over an unrelated political dispute".

"Over the next 21 days I expect both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith.

Democrats are against the wall", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday, "but we agree on many things, such as the need for new technology, and the need to strengthen security at our ports of entry, and that bodes well for coming to an eventual agreement". Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voted yes on the Trump shutdown proposal, as he had said he would.

Trump offered additional concessions alongside his desired funding for the wall, including humanitarian aid and beefed up security on the border.

The shutdown began over five weeks ago when President Donald Trump demanded $5.6 billion in border wall funding, but Democrats - who had enough votes to block legislation - would only support $1.6 billion in border security funding.

The Senate on Thursday will vote on two budget bills created to end the longest government shutdown in history. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said Friday that it is still up for Pelosi and Trump to take the lead, even as a clamor is growing in the Senate for McConnell and Schumer to grab the reins. Democrats sponsored the second bill.

The Democratic measure had already passed the House, but fell short Thursday of the 60 votes required in the Senate to defeat a GOP filibuster.

A day earlier, Republican lawmakers vented their frustration at Vice President Mike Pence during a tense lunch over a lack of a strategy out of the shutdown.

"If they come to a reasonable agreement, I would support it, yes", Trump said.

The Senate's new approach to ending the partial government shutdown actually takes votes instead of just pointing fingers.

The measure would have also provided three years of continued protection against deportation for 700,000 immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children. "No Wall." The Daily Caller, another conservative news website, ran the headline, "TRUMP CAVES".

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