Trump signs off on agreement to reopen federal government

Elias Hubbard
January 23, 2018

President Donald Trump has signed legislation to keep the federal government open through February 8, the White House announced Monday night.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, in a Monday morning interview on "Fox and Friends", said the House would go back to the negotiating table on DACA if Senate Democrats backed the temporary spending measure.

In a bid to win over a few Democratic holdouts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also pledged to take up legislation on immigration and other top Democratic priorities if they weren't already addressed by the time that spending bill would expire.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said he thought Schumer of NY agreed to push back the vote to give his caucus "a chance to chew" on a GOP proposal to break the impasse.

The House now needs to vote on the Senate's bill before President Donald Trump can sign it to reopen the government.

"I am pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses", Trump said in a statement.

The shutdown began Saturday after Democrats derailed a Republican measure that would have kept government open until February 16.

"We will vote today to reopen the government", Schumer said on the Senate floor, saying he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had reached an "arrangement". Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. "Once we start talking about immigration and voting on immigration, we'll find 60 votes to make sure these DACA recipients' lives are not ruined by March 5".

The stalemate consumed Washington for the better part of a week, as lawmakers and the White House feuded over immigration policy and the nation's two main political parties exchanged bitter barbs before finally reaching a deal. Democrats want protections for Dreamers, per an Obama-era executive order that prevented deportation of undocumented immigrants who illegally arrived in the United States as minors.

Senate Republican leader McConnell's commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant "Dreamers" was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.

But it wasn't just Republicans using that phrase during the weekend government shutdown.

But the shutdown's continuing into Monday meant that hundreds of thousands of workers stayed home and key federal agencies were affected.

On Monday, Trump met separately at the White House with Republican senators who have taken a harder line on immigration and with moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Doug Jones.

It forced Trump to cancel a weekend trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and created uncertainty around his scheduled trip this week to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Trump was also warned by allies including chief of staff John Kelly and budget director Mick Mulvaney not to reopen negotiations with Schumer, whom White House staffers believed would have to fold.

"This represents the first time in a long time that we'll have the Senate actually functioning, working", said Republican Senator Jeff Flake.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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