CNN:– President Donald Trump conceded Friday to mounting pressure that he reopen the federal government, agreeing to a temporary funding measure that would allow federal employees to return to work but that does not include the billions of dollars in border wall funding he’s spent the past month demanding.
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The outcome of the 35-day standoff leaves Trump politically chastened.
Democrats have insisted since December that he sign a measure reopening the government before they sit for talks on border wall funding.
After weeks of resistance, Trump agreed to just that on Friday, rendering the past month of stalemate a futile exercise in brinkmanship that left hundreds of thousands of federal workers unpaid and anxious.
With Trump’s signal of support, lawmakers are moving quickly to pass spending bills that would allow shuttered federal agencies to reopen.
In his Rose Garden remarks, Trump did not appear conciliatory nor did he concede defeat; instead, he continued to paint the matter as a national security crisis and said another shutdown is possible if lawmakers cannot agree to new border wall funding.
“As everyone knows I have a very powerful alternative but I’m not going to use it at this time,” Trump said after declaring he’d struck a deal to reopen government.
CNN reported exclusively on Thursday that a national emergency proclamation had been drafted that would allow for potentially billions of federal dollars to be put toward wall construction.
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 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,” Trump said. “We will have great security.”
Nearly his entire Cabinet and many of his senior advisers had assembled along the Rose Garden colonnade to listen to Trump speak.
They offered enthusiastic applause during his speech, which Trump opened by saying he was “very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government.”
The measure Trump agreed to would allow federal workers to resume being paid as Democratic and Republican lawmakers convene to discuss the administration’s requests for border security funding.
Trump spent the past weeks demanding that any measure reopening the government include $5.7 billion in funding for a barrier on the US-Mexico border, which was a signature campaign promise.