President Donald Trump has announced that he has agreed to sign a deal that would end the longest government shutdown in American history for three weeks. During a press conference at the White House on Friday, Trump announced that he would sign a continuing resolution that would fund the government until February 15 that does not include money for the wall, NPR reports.
“You are very, very special people,” he said in reference to the thousands of federal workers who had been affected by the shutdown before declaring that he would ensure that they receive their backpay very shortly.
The move will likely be considered a win for House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi who were resolute in their insistence that one of Trump’s main campaign promises, a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, would not be funded by the American taxpayer. Then-candidate Trump initially promised that Mexico would pay for the barrier.
According to NPR, the stop-gap deal also includes a long-term funding proposal for the Department of Homeland Security without an appropriation for a border wall.
During his remarks today, the president also announced that senators would vote on the new agreement first and that he had ordered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the vote “immediately.”
The end of the government shutdown comes on the day that Trump’s longtime associate Roger Stone was arrested on charges related to the ongoing investigation of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election by special counsel Robert Mueller. Stone was detained in a pre-dawn raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale by a team of armed FBI agents. He has since been placed on a $250,000 bond but won’t have to pay a dime of that as long as he keeps his scheduled court appearances.
After today’s hearing, he vowed to continue to support the president, despite his arrest.
“There is no circumstance whatsoever that I will bear false witness against the president,” he said, as reported by Vox. “I will not testify against the president.”
The partial government shutdown started on December 22 last year after Congress failed to pass a spending bill that included funding for the border wall. Negotiations between the leaders of the Democratic Party reached a stalemate and soon both sides were resorting to tactics that some have deemed “petty.” Recently Speaker Pelosi and President Trump dueled over the State of the Union address and whether it could safely be held during the shutdown. Trump canceled her trips to U.S. army bases overseas citing similar security concerns but first lady Melania Trump used a federal government plane to travel to Florida during the same period.
The effects of the government shutdown have been far-reaching, as thousands of workers had to live without being paid for a month. Law enforcement agents warned of its effects on national security and on Friday, all flights to New York’s LaGuardia airport were canceled because of a lack of available federal workers.