by Jim Wiesemeyer
President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have a deal to reopen government agencies through Feb. 15, providing a temporary reprieve to federal workers who haven't been paid in nearly a month.
Trump made an announcement from the Rose Garden today. “In a short while I will sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks, through Feb. 15,” Trump said, noting he will ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to put the proposal on the floor immediately.
Congressional votes are slated later today in both the Senate and House. The House convened for a pro forma session, where stopgap legislation could be approved by unanimous consent or voice vote later today after the Senate acts.
The deal does not include border wall funding but would include a commitment to go to conference on fiscal 2019 Homeland Security appropriations, where border security money will be negotiated during the next few weeks.
The short-term continuing resolution would also ensure furloughed workers will receive back pay for time off since the shutdown began Dec. 22.
The ongoing shutdown has closed nine Cabinet departments with the exception of services considered critical to protection of human life and property, including air traffic controllers and airport security screeners. Workers performing those "excepted" tasks, totaling more than 400,000, have missed two paychecks, as have a roughly equal number of federal employees who have been furloughed for the past 35 days.
This article may be updated as additional information becomes available.