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Breaking: Trump announces plan to reopen government for three weeks

This deal, which does not include funding for a border wall, would still have to be approved by Congress

Alex Edelma/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has announced a plan to reopen the government for three weeks until Feb. 15. This is a temporary measure, and if a shutdown agreement is not reached by the end of this deadline, the shutdown will presumably restart. The bill still has to be approved by both houses of Congress.

How long has the government been shut down?

The partial government shutdown has now been going on for 35 days.

President Donald Trump has said that he will not sign any bill to fund the federal government that does not include $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the border between the U.S and Mexico. Democrats in Congress have so far been unwilling to agree to any bill that contains funding for a border wall.

Roughly 800,000 federal workers have had their paychecks frozen until the shutdown ends. These include air traffic controllers, TSA agents, and border patrol agents.

On Thursday, the Senate voted down to separate bills, one from each political party, that would have ended the shutdown.

What happened today?

On Friday, Trump announced during a news conference at the Rose Garden a plan to reopen the government temporarily until Feb. 15.

The temporary funding measure would include back pay for furloughed workers. It would not include funding for a border wall, which Trump said he hoped would be included in any long-term funding plan.

Trump said in his news conference that he had an "alternative" to a deal, but had "decided not to use it at this time," referring to an emergency order that he had considered declaring if a deal could not be reached.

"Over the next 21 days," Trump said, "I expect Democrats and Republicans to act in good faith...If we make a fair deal, the American people will be proud of our government, for proving that we can put country above party."

He said that the wall "should not be controversial."

Trump told reporters that the "walls we are building are not medieval walls. They are smart walls" that are "operationally effective" and equipped with technology. He added that he never proposed or wanted a concrete wall "from sea to shining sea" because natural barriers were already in place. The steel wall he said would be in "specific, high risk locations" identified by Customs and Border Protection.

He warned that, without funding from Congress, the government would be forced to release illegal immigrants currently in custody into the U.S. population.

Trump wrapped up the news conference by saying that if a deal wasn't reached by Feb. 15, either the government would shut down again or he would use his power to declare an emergency to get the wall built.

One last thing…
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