Trump climbs down in wall row, Congress passes bill ending shutdown

Washington, Jan 26: President Donald Trump on Friday brought a temporary end to the longest government shutdown in US history, while dropping his previous insistence on immediate funding for wall construction along the Mexican border.

The announcement in the White House Rose Garden on the bipartisan deal marked a retreat by Trump, suspending a row that paralyzed Washington, disrupted air travel, and left more than 800,000 federal employees without pay for five weeks.

The top Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, said he hoped Trump had “learned his lesson.”

The Senate and House of Representatives both passed the deal by unanimous consent Friday. The White House later confirmed Trump had signed it into law.

Trump's reversal came as the full weight of the shutdown, including the financial cost on struggling employees and the national economy, became clear, and as the president appeared outfoxed by his political nemesis Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives.

But while Trump climbed down in agreeing to reopen government without first getting $5.7 billion in border wall funds, he still threatened to renew hostilities with a new shutdown, or a state of emergency, if there is no breakthrough on his pet project in the next three weeks.

“Over the next 21 days, I expect that both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith,” he said as he announced he would reopen the government.

“If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government either shuts down on February 15th again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” he warned.

“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier.”

S&P Global Ratings said late Friday that the shutdown cost “is likely worse than what we had previously expected.”

Based on their analysis, “the US economy lost at least $6 billion … larger than the $5.7 billion that the White House requested for the border wall,” it said in a statement.



Posted on: 2019-01-26T13:10:00+05:00