US Congress ends government shutdown with short-term funding bill

23 Jan 18

The US Congress voted yesterday to end the three-day government shutdown, approving a short-term funding bill until 8 February. 

The Democrats agreed to back the bill after the Republicans promised a debate at a later date on the future of DACA and young illegal immigrants.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters yesterday that the president was “pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses”.

She read a statement from the president that said he was happy that Democrats “are now willing to fund our great military, border patrol, first responders and insurance for vulnerable children”.

The government shutdown on Friday last week as Democrats and Republicans were unable to agree on a spending bill for government operations and agencies.

Federal operations will fully reopen today after workers were unable to go to work on Monday as agencies had closed with their funding ending on Friday, meaning wages would not have been paid. 

Trump tweeted following Mondays vote: “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!”

During the shutdown, “essential” agencies were not closed, including defence workers, the work of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

Republican-led congress will revisit the budget and immigration policy after 8 February as congress failed to pass a complete budget by 1 October last year and the government has since been operating on a series of three stopgap spending bills.

Democrats disagreed with Trump’s immigration policies, including his order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which gave legal protections to thousands of immigrants.

They blocked a House-passed temporary funding bill to reopen the government’s doors until 16 February as they push for the protection of around 800,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children.

The statement from Trump, read by Sanders, also said: “As I have said, once the government is funded, my administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration.

“We’ll make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for the country.”

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