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Trump reopens gov’t for 3 weeks with no border money for now

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports during a ceremony at the White House Thursday, March 8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
January 25, 2019

President Trump has made an announcement revealing a deal that was reached to temporarily end the 36-day partial government shutdown — the longest in history.

During the announcement, President Trump announced a continuing resolution that will fund the government for three weeks until Feb. 15 without border wall funding.

Watch his announcement below:

“As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn’t want to use it at this time. Hopefully it will be unnecessary,” he said of his executive power to declare a national emergency.

Trump said he has asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “to put this proposal on the floor immediately” and swiftly sign the resolution.

He said he is confident that Democrats and Republicans can “put partisanship aside and put the security of the American people first.”

“Let me be very clear. We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15 again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”

He praised federal workers who have struggled without payment through the shutdown for the past month and vowed that they will receive their backpay soon.

“I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly, or as soon as possible,” he said.

He also discussed the efficacy of border walls, citing the security afforded by Israel’s wall, and the ability of walls to keep out crime and drugs. “It’s just common sense. Walls work,” he said.

“The walls we are building are not medieval walls. They are smart walls designed to meet the needs of front line border agents, and are operationally effective.”

McConnell, along with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, began discussing a bipartisan deal on Thursday for the three-week stopgap measure.

Trump’s move is the latest since congressional Democrats rejected a bill on Thursday evening that would have temporarily ended the shutdown with some border wall funding.

On Saturday, President Trump attempted to sway Democrats with a new proposal offering a 3-year extension for 700,000 illegal immigrants under the DACA program, and another 300,000 refugees in the TPS program in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.

Democrats immediately rejected the compromise. The Senate attempted to pass the proposal, but did not secure the needed 60 votes, Fox News reported.

The latest news also comes as administration sources said Trump was drafting a proclamation, which declares a national emergency and allocates more $7 billion in funding to construct the border wall.

CNN obtained the draft, which reportedly reads, “The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency.”

“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” it adds.

The proclamation would pull funds from various sources, including “$681 million from Treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds,” an administration official told CNN.

On Jan. 4, Trump announced he was considering using an emergency declaration to build the wall after talks with Democrats on border wall funding remained at a stalemate.

Some have suggested that Trump may enact the emergency proclamation after the three-week stopgap measure if Congress again fails to pass a bill that includes border wall funding.