WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 25, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — President Donald Trump announced on Friday afternoon that he will sign a bill to end the federal government’s partial shutdown for three weeks while lawmakers continue to seek a funding deal.
The bill will give lawmakers until Feb. 15 to come to an agreement in the conflict, which stems in part from Trump’s requirement that any bill include at least $1.5 billion to fund the building of a border wall between America and Mexico.
Trump used much of his brief speech to urge the support of funding the wall, which he first promised to build while on the campaign trail.
Almost all Democratic senators oppose funding the wall, which many have criticized as unnecessary, an ineffective way to keep out undocumented immigrants, and a threat to endangered wildlife in the area.
Trump’s announcement that he will sign the temporary bill came on the 35th day of the nation’s longest shutdown, which has halted paychecks to approximately 800,000 federal employees.
In Utah, many of the hard hit are in the Ogden area, where hundreds of employees of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Forest Service reside.
The shutdown also has left national parks in Utah with skeleton crews, or forced them to close completely.
Trump’s announcement came hours after New York’s LaGuardia Airport announced a partial shutdown due to staffing shortages.
For weeks, reports have indicated that as many as 10 percent of federal employees are calling in sick rather than reporting to work while not being paid.
Trump said he would urge officials to get back pay to employees as soon as possible, and called federal employees “patriots,” claiming many had voiced their support for him.
Trump said that most illegal drugs brought into America come through the country’s southern border, and that building a border wall would “cut (drugs) by a number that nobody will believe.”
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will shut down again on Feb. 15,” Trump said, adding that he would use laws “to address this emergency.”
To see Trump’s talk in its entirety, click the link below.