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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Trump caves, government shutdown ends

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Closed sign is displayed at The National Archives entrance in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

In a clear win for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who stood firm as Republican resolve began to crumble, president Donald Trump agreed Saturday to sign legislation to reopen the government for at least three weeks as talks resume on what will happen to his demand for a $5.7 billion border wall between the United States and Mexico.

In an announcement from the Rose Garden of the White House Friday afternoon, Trump said a congressional conference will spend the next three weeks on a “bipartisan” plan on border security.

The House and Senate approved the plan and Trump signed it Friday evening, bringing the record shutdown to an end for at least three weeks and most likely longer as House and Senate leaders try to work out a deal with the President on border security.

Trump said he expects that plan to include funding for the long promised border wall but others say the president caved to Pelosi’s insistence that the wall would not be discussed until the government reopened.

“No border security plan can never work without a physical barrier,” Trump said during the announcement of the deal. “It just doesn’t happen.”

Trump maintained throughout what has been the longest government shutdown in history said reopening the government wouldn’t happen unless he had the wall funded,

With quick approval Friday afternoon, and Trump’s signature, the shutdown should end on its 35th day, a prolonged period that led to missed paydays and increasing absences from government workers who stayed away from jobs with no pay even when ordered to come to work.

An end to the shutdown came as serious delays all but crippled air traffic delay around the country and hampered traffic into and out of the United States.

And it affected other areas of the government when at least 14,000 unpaid workers for the Internal Revenue Service did not show up for work, defying orders to do so by Trump.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) said airport delays “ratchets up pressure immediately” while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) met with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to work out a deal.

Pelosi posted on Twitter that the “#TrumpShutdown has already pushed hundreds of thousands of Americans to the breaking point. Now it’s pushing our airspace to the breaking point too.”

She told Trump to “stop endangering the safety, security and well-being of our nation. Re-open the government now!”

Trump’s decision to back down came as a new Washington Post-ABC poll shows 58 percent of those questioned now disapprove of Trump’s actions, a five-point increase and a clear majority now hold the president and congressional Republicans “most responsible for the shutdown.”


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