MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — President Donald Trump says he’ll sign legislation shortly to reopen shuttered government departments for three weeks — until Feb. 15.
Trump’s action would end what has become a record, 35-day partial shutdown.
Some 800,000 federal workers have had to work without pay or have been kept from doing their jobs as Trump and congressional Democrats were locked in a stalemate over the billions of dollars that Trump has demanded to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Trump spoke at the White House on Friday as intensifying delays at some of the nation’s busiest airports and widespread disruptions brought new urgency to efforts to break the impasse.
Trump said he could still declare a national emergency if Democrats don’t come to the table before mid-February.
Minnesota lawmakers were quick to respond to Trump’s announcement.
Gov. Tim Walz said, “We are grateful that the pain being caused to American citizens will be relieved. We reiterate our call that this never happen again.”
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said that “the badly scripted House of Cards episode is finally coming to an end!”
Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn told WCCO he would support Trump declaring a national emergency if it meant securing funding for border security, saying “Border security equals national security. If the Democrats won’t come to the table to help us get this done, the president is going to have to take whatever action he has to take.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, released the following statement:
“Today, this senseless shutdown will finally come to an end—that’s a good thing. For the last five weeks, hundreds of thousands of workers went without pay, and everything from air safety to medical advancements were undermined.
“But this shutdown never should have happened in the first place—we’re in the exact same place we were five weeks ago, but our workers, our economy, and our country have seriously suffered.
“The President needs to stop playing games, end the threats, and allow the country to get back to work.”
And Democratic Sen. Tina Smith responded, “From the beginning, the government shutdown was a waste focused on a political symbol instead of real solutions. Finally, President Trump is realizing the increasingly harmful toll the shutdown is taking on our country. I’m glad a deal has been reached to reopen the government and focus on meaningful negotiations, but we still need to make sure federal contract employees get back pay—which is an issue I introduced a bill to address. I am going to keep pushing for these Americans—the people who are often invisible securing buildings and keeping them clean, and working in cafeterias—because I’ve made it my job to fight for people who’ve been hurt by the shutdown.”
Republican Rep. Pete Stauber told WCCO, “America’s civil servants work diligently every day to keep this nation safe and secure, and it isn’t right that so many of them are missing paychecks because of DC dysfunction. I absolutely support the Continuing Resolution to reopen the government for three weeks so our federal workers can finally receive the backpay they deserve and desperately need. The President has made a good-faith effort to find a solution, and now it is time for Democratic leadership to come to the table so we can work on a plan to secure our border and prevent illicit drugs, human traffickers, and illegal immigrants from entering this country.”
Additionally, Reps. Betty McCollum and Dean Phillips weighed in on Twitter:
About 800,000 government workers have gone with pay for more than a month.
Trump had delayed his scheduled State of the Union address until after the partial government shutdown was over. It’s still unclear when it will be delivered.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)