WASHINGTON — After 35 days, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders reached an agreement to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Trump announced on Friday that the agreement would temporarily fund closed federal agencies for three weeks. He said he would sign a bill later in the afternoon.
Negotiations would continue over whether a long-term deal would include $5.7 billion that Trump has demanded for his long-promised border wall. Trump threatened that if Congress does not approve funding for the wall before Feb. 15, the government would shut down again or he would declare a state of emergency.
“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steal barrier,” Trump said in the White House’s Rose Garden.
Trump also thanked federal employees for their patience and support during the shutdown. He said they would receive back pay “as soon as possible.”
Overnight and into Friday at least five Republican senators had been calling Trump, urging him to reopen the government and have the Senate consider his request for border wall funds through regular legislation, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to discuss the private talks publicly.
The burst of movement came as LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were both experiencing at least 90-minute delays in takeoffs Friday.
The world’s busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — was experiencing long security wait times, a warning sign the week before it expects 150,000 out-of-town visitors for the Super Bowl.
Contributing to the pressure on lawmakers to find a solution was the harsh reality confronting 800,000 federal workers, who on Friday faced a second two-week payday with no paychecks.
Contributing: TEGNA Staff