By Carlo Versano
President Trump announced on Friday that he reached a tentative deal with Democrats to reopen the government temporarily while the two sides continue to negotiate on border security.
The continuing resolution would fund the government at current levels for three weeks, until Feb. 15. It reportedly does not include any funding for the border wall. While Trump framed the deal as a victory, he was essentially agreeing to the same proposal that was offered by Democrats before the shutdown, which he had rejected.
Trump thanked federal workers, some of whom have been forced to visit food banks as they missed paychecks, and promised they would receive back pay "very quickly."
After 35 days of a government shutdown that left 800,000 furloughed federal workers without pay and strained the nation's law enforcement, air travel, food safety, and border security agencies, the president essentially backed off his promise that he would only re-open the government if Congress agreed to appropriate billions for a wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said Trump would get "nothing for the wall."
In his Rose Garden announcement, Trump said he would ask Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on the continuing resolution immediately. He then delivered an extended off-prompter riff on border security, repeating many of his claims that a wall would drastically reduce crime and drug use in the U.S. "Walls should not be controversial," Trump said.
"This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole, beautiful, wonderful nation."
Afterward, Nancy Pelosi told reporters she was "glad we gave come to a conclusion today."
Sen. Chuck Schumer added: "Hopefully, the president learned his lesson."