WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump on Friday agreed to a stop-gap spending plan that would end a partial government shutdown now in its 35th day, according to a senior House Democratic aide.
At the end of a stormy day, the setting sun breaks through the clouds to illuminate the White House in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The president, who previously had insisted on $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in any spending bill, will deliver remarks soon at the White House.
Trump and lawmakers reached a deal to advance a three-week temporary funding bill that would reopen shuttered agencies. The deal would leave Trump’s request for wall funding for later talks, the aide said. The aide said the House could pass the measure as soon as later Friday if Republicans agree to hold a vote.
With the effects of the shutdown spreading on Friday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Twitter that Trump would address the shutdown in a Rose Garden appearance.
A Senate Republican aide said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to press for passage of a three-week funding bill on Friday.
Any temporary funding bill would simply extend agency funding at the last fiscal year’s levels and would include some money for border security – but not a wall.
Trump triggered the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, when he demanded the $5.7 billion in money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border that he has long promised but that Democrats oppose as costly, ineffective and immoral. Trump at the time said he would not sign an legislation to fund government agencies if the wall money was not included.
Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at airports in the New York area and Philadelphia as more air traffic controllers called in sick. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for flights destined for New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Friday morning before lifting it about an hour later. Staff shortages also delayed flights at Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport, the FAA said.
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed or, as with some airport workers, required to work without pay. Some federal agencies have reported much higher absence rates among workers as they face an indefinite wait for their next paychecks.
Trump has called the wall necessary to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking but Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, have rejected his demand.
The lapse in funding has shuttered about one-quarter of federal agencies, with about 800,000 workers either furloughed or required to work without pay. It is the longest such shutdown in U.S. history.
On Thursday, a bill backed by Trump to end the shutdown by including the $5.7 billion he wants for partial wall funding and a separate bill supported by Democrats to reopen shuttered agencies without such funding did not get the votes required to advance in the 100-member Senate.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday the possibility of legislation that includes a large down payment on a wall, “is not a reasonable agreement.”
Reporting by Richard Cowan and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott