Senate Passes Bill To End Government Shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference following a Senate Republicans policy luncheon on Capitol Hill.
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

After nearly exactly five weeks of partial government shutdown, the senate has unanimously passed a bill that will briefly reopen the government, according to Reuters.

This will allow furloughed federal workers and those working without pay to resume business as normal while lawmakers scramble to find a permanent solution to resolve the issues that triggered the shutdown in the first place.

The bill now goes to the House for their vote, which will take place at 6:30 pm ET, according to CNN. Given how House Democrats have been trying to get government reopened while they continue border wall talks with President Donald Trump, it seems unlikely the bill will not be passed.

Once the House has passed it, Trump will have to sign off on it officially.

After the senate voted on the bill, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had just one flippant comment on the matter.

“Well, we got the government open today,” he said.

Despite the shutdown starting over the fact that House Democrats refused to give Trump a $5.7 billion budget to build his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the president still hasn’t managed to convince them to give him the funds. Originally, they had agreed to approve just $1.3 billion to increase border security, which the president rejected.

Thirty-five days later, and Trump hasn’t achieved the goal he shut the government down for in the first place. Unfortunately for the president, the pressure to reopen government has been insurmountable, and on Thursday, McConnell warned the president that it was “unclear how much longer he could get GOP senators to hold the line.”

Trump eventually gave in to the deal Democrats had put forth to him weeks ago after polls showed that most Americans lay the blame for the continued shutdown and the chaos it was causing at his feet.

However, the agreement is only valid for a period of three weeks, at which point the shutdown will resume should Trump not be happy with the results of continued talks about border security.

Trump also has another option that he keeps waving under Democrats’ noses: He can declare a national emergency in order to get the funding for the wall.

The president’s agreement to reopen government comes just two weeks after he declared that he would be happy to let the shutdown drag on for months or even years should he not get his way. Just days ago, he again insisted he “would not cave” on his demands.

“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said in a press briefing from the White House.