President Donald J. Trump spoke at the Rose Garden Friday afternoon, announcing a short-term spending deal which will temporarily reopen the federal government while Democrats and Republicans work out a deal on border security.
“In a short while, I will sign a bill to reopen our government for three weeks, until Feb. 13,” Trump said at the press conference.
The bill will fund the government for three weeks. He said that a bipartisan committee of congresspeople will immediately begin working with U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement to “put together a border security package.” He said that over the past 36 days, while the government has been shut down, Democrats have recognized the need for a physical barrier at the southern border.
“Walls should not be controversial,” Trump said. “Every Border Patrol agent I’ve talked to has told me that walls work. It’s just common sense. Walls work.”
Trump thanked government employees who have faced “incredible hardship” during the shutdown.
He spent the rest of the speech making an argument in favor of the wall, returning to the basic talking points regarding drugs pouring over the border, violent drug cartels trafficking women across the border, and the litany of other issues caused by open borders.
One quarter of federal employees, deemed non-essential, have been furloughed. Many are still working, but not getting paid after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected a deal offered last weekend by Trump that would have funded a border wall in exchange for an extension of the DACA program. Those employees will be paid in full, but the pressure is on as they miss their second paycheck Friday.
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