Trump, Congress Close To Deal To End Shutdown Until Mid-February

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence enter the Rose Garden at the White House to address the media after meeting with Democratic leadership to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown, January 4, 2019. (Photo by Michael Candelori/NurPhoto)
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President Trump and congressional leaders are closing in on an agreement to reopen the government for three weeks and end the longest government shutdown in history, according to two Democratic sources close to the negotiations.

The bill would not include any money for Trump’s wall — a major cave for the President, who for more than a month has demanded money for a U.S.-Mexico wall in any government funding deal, and a victory for congressional Democratic leaders who refused to give in to his demands. The bill will open the government through mid-February.

“Leaders are zeroing in on an agreement that includes a short term CR [continuing resolution] to 2/15 and a vehicle to go to conference on the DHS bill,” one Democrat close to the negotiations told TPM. “No wall money. Senate would vote first. The 7-bill CR will also include a furloughed employees backpay provision.”

Nothing is final until it’s signed into law, and President Trump has reversed himself routinely in the past — including rejecting an earlier short-term deal that would have avoided the shutdown that Republicans thought he supported. But if it does go through, it would be a major reprieve for government workers and a temporary relief for the broader economy.

The short-term agreement would give both sides a chance to negotiate a larger immigration and border security package. It’s unclear whether that will be enough time to find a larger deal, and whether a failure to do so might lead to another government shutdown.

The deal comes a day after the Senate failed to pass a pair of competing measures to reopen the government — with Trump’s plan failing by a worse margin as a half-dozen Republican senators voted for the Democratic plan. That bill is almost identical to the current proposal, which Trump suddenly seems willing to support after refusing to as recently as yesterday afternoon.

 

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