President Trump reopened the government for thirty days, ending the partial government shutdown and leaving room to continue negotiating with Democrats over the $5.7 billion request for funding the border wall.
Roughly 800,000 federal employees and their families faced a second round of missed paychecks and on Friday concerns over airport security heightened. Several major airports saw delays and temporary shutdowns of their own when essential workers didn’t show up for work. Moreover, those concerns put more pressure on Trump to move toward a resolution.
The resolution not only calls for stronger border security but must also allocate funding to assist in the humanitarian crisis, he said.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2019
“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” said Trump. He thanked all the federal workers and families who’ve suffered during the shutdown. “We do not need 2,000 miles of wall from sea to shining sea…our proposed structures will be in predetermined high risk locations.”
Trump referenced that the areas selected for the extension of the wall were based on recommendations made by federal law enforcement officials.
“Walls should not be controversial…no matter where you go they work,” said Trump, who referenced Israel’s wall. “It’s just common sense wall’s work.”
Many federal workers did not complain even though they suffered during the shutdown but instead supported his administration in fighting for a better border security deal, Trump said.
“In a short while I will sign a bill to open the government for three weeks,” Trump said, who added that government workers will be back paid “very quickly.” Trump said Democrats and Republicans are “willing to put partisanship aside…and put border security first.”
The White House has established a bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate leaders that will be reviewing the requests of DHS officials and other federal law enforcement officials to enhance security and fight the humanitarian crisis, Trump said.
These officials will put together a homeland security bill “for me to shortly put into law,” Trump added. “It’s an opportunity for all parties to work together for our…beautiful nation.”
Airport Delays and Brief Closures
On Friday, many Air Traffic Controllers on the East Coast didn’t show up to work or called in sick on the shutdown’s 35th day. Further, lack of adequate Transportation Security Administration employees at airports has also raised major concerns, said federal law enforcement officials.
Flight’s out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport were delayed and the FAA had to briefly halt flights into LaGuardia, the FAA said.
“The President has been briefed and we are monitoring the ongoing delays at some airports,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Friday. “We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA.”
Shutdown: Some Federal Law Enforcement Officials Were Not Getting Per Diem
Federal Air Marshall’s are also under extraordinary pressure. For example, Federal Air Marshall’s were still being required to use their government credit cards to pay hotel bills and buy their food on trips, “even though they are not getting the money to pay their government credit cards.”
“They are not getting their per diem on trips, so by going to work they are incurring further debt, and even if its a government credit card, they are still responsible for paying it,” said a former Federal Air Marshall. The official is currently a federal law enforcement officer, whose not being paid under the shutdown.
“This could eventually effect national security if it happens much longer,” the federal law enforcement official added. “I would not want to go overseas if I didn’t know when I would be able to pay my bills. We hear all about the damn screeners but what about the law enforcement guys?”
Fox New’s Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin first reported that Trump was not going to announce a national emergency to build the border wall. Earlier in the day, The Drudge Report was the first to publish that Trump would hold an impromptu presser.
Concern that Trump would order a national emergency was downplayed by senior administration officials shortly before Trump spoke. Republican have said it would be a last resort because it could be halted by an injunction and would face a long battle.
“The President will not announce a national emergency today,” Griffin quoted a senior U.S. official saying. “Expected to announce an an agreement to reopen the government for 30 days while compromise on the border is reached.
Senior US official to Fox: The President will NOT announce a national emergency today. Expected to announce an agreement to reopen the government for 30 days while compromise on border is reached.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 25, 2019