Dustin Steinhoff, News Editor
The longest government shutdown in U.S. history came to an end Jan. 25 thanks to a short-term spending bill, but only temporarily.
President Donald Trump put aside his request for $5.7 billion in border security funding and signed a temporary spending bill Jan. 25 that did not grant the money he has repeatedly requested for his border wall. The measure that President Trump signed into law is a three-week stopgap bill that reopened parts of government that were previously shuttered and allowing federal workers to go back to work.
“I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks,” President Trump said during an address on Friday. “We have reached a deal to end the shutdown.”
However, the spending bill will only last 21 days, reaching an end Feb. 15. Within that time, Congress must reach a deal for the U.S. federal spending budget.
According to Trump, “a bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders” will work to “put together a homeland security package for me to shortly sign into law.” Trump also stated that in these three weeks he “expects that both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith.”
The majority of Democrats see the temporary spending bill as a step forward, as many Democrats had insisted on President Trump reopening the government before taking part in further border security budget negotiations. However, many have made it clear that while they are open to border security talks, they are against President’s Trump’s proposal for the border wall.
“The president has agreed to our request to open the government and then debate border security,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. “Democrats are firmly against the wall, but we agree on many things such as the need for drug inspection technology, humanitarian aid, strengthening security at our ports of entry. And that bodes well for finding an eventual agreement.”
While many Republicans are happy to see federal workers able to work and receive pay once more, there are some who see the spending bill as Trump giving into his opposition. Having demanded the money he believed necessary to construct a border wall and using the government shutdown as leverage to get the necessary funding, some believe this is Trump not following through promises he made to his supporters.
Prior to the passage of the spending bill, negotiations between members of the Democratic and Republican had not gained much traction.
Wednesday, a committee made up of congressional negotiators held its first public meeting in order to begin talks of reaching a deal on border security that President Trump will be in support of.
According to NPR, the leaders of both political parties appeared to be open to compromise on the matter. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., was willing to support over $1.6 billion, an amount previously appropriated for border security. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., suggested that the wall between the U.S. and Mexico not stretch completely from one side of the country to the other and instead strategically place portions of a wall where border traffic is highest.
As Congress attempts to complete their negotiations before the Feb. 15 deadline, Americans are left to wonder if the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history has really come to an end or has simply been postponed.