Five Facts on The Deal to (Temporarily) End The Shutdown
Friday afternoon President Trump announced in the White House rose garden that he had reached a deal with lawmakers to end the government shutdown. Trump announced he would sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks, until February 15th. Here are five facts on the deal to reopen the government.
1. Pressure from air traffic controllers and air travel security was a main driver in Trump's surrender. Some of the busiest airports in America faced crippling delays today due to a lack of airport personnel. CNBC and Bloomberg reported a halt in some incoming flights on Friday into LaGuardia airport in New York, because there were not enough air traffic controllers to safely direct and coordinate flights. Delays, according to the New York Times, affected travel all across the East coast, as far as Boston. Before the announcement regarding ending the shutdown, the president was briefed on the delays and was in contact with the Department of Transportation and the F.A.A., according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
2. The Temporary funding bill does not allocate money for a border wall. The agreement would extend government agencies the same allocated funding as last year, but notably absent from the three-week budget was money for a border wall. Federal workers will resume being paid while Congress is set to convene and continue discussions with the president over border security and wall money. The current stopgap measure includes $1.3 billion allocated towards border security and sufficient funding to keep the government open. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed hopes for the quick passage of legislation in the Senate.
3. Trump still insinuated the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the border wall. On Friday, the president said that if a bipartisan agreement was not reached over border security and specifically the wall, he was fully prepared to re-shut down the government, or circumnavigate Congressional power and declare a national emergency. Trump declared "If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency." According to the New York Times, in declaring a national emergency, a President can augment his executive powers and create loopholes in rules that normally constrain him. The National Emergencies Act, a post-Watergate reform outlines the rules surrounding declaring a national emergency.
4. Both Party Leaders expressed optimism over the upcoming negotiations. BBC reports that after the president’s announcement, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hoped the Democrats will negotiate "in good faith" in the upcoming months. His counterpart Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke, saying that both parties agree on some areas of border security, including the need to "strengthen security at our ports of entry." CBS News reports Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said after the president's announcement that she looked forward to working in a "bipartisan, bicameral way" with Republicans to open the government. When asked about Trump's border security demands, Speaker Pelosi said to reporters, "One step at a time." Notably, the House and Senate is also set to establish a bipartisan and bicameral conference committee to negotiate over border security in the coming weeks.
5. With the Government reopening, all eyes will be on whether Trump will conduct his State of the Union Address. Previously, Leader Pelosi and the president sparred over whether Trump would be allowed to give his State of the Union address in the House chamber. Pelosi had barred President Trump from continuing the 105-year tradition, given the then-status of the shutdown. In response, Trump had investigated alternative venues to conduct his address, which was originally scheduled for January 29th. With a deal reached to temporarily reopen the government, the president may receive a formal invitation to speak from Speaker Pelosi.
No Labels is an organization of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to bring American leaders together to solve problems.