NATIONWIDE — President Donald Trump has signed a bill to reopen the federal government for three weeks, ending the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
- Trump announces deal to end longest federal shutdown in US history
- Deal would fund government through February 15, he said
- Senate unanimously passed measure, House OKs it hours later
Trump made a statement that the deal was reached from the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday — the same day that Federal Aviation Administration officials acknowledged that intermittent airport delays were being caused by an increase in sick calls at two air-traffic-control centers on the East Coast.
The Senate unanimously passed the measure by voice vote late Friday afternoon, and the House approved it a few hours later. It headed to President Trump's desk Friday night, where he signed the bill into law.
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Some 800,000 federal employees have not worked or have been working without pay for 35 days while the Trump administration and Congress struggled to come to an agreement to end the impasse.
The deal Trump announced would fund the government through February 15, he said. It wouldn't immediately provide money for Trump's long-sought border wall, though he said if he didn't get the $5 billion he's pushed for, the government will shut down again in three weeks, or he will declare a state of emergency.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are being asked to return to work and "reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner" following the end of a 35-day government shutdown.
The Office of Management and Budget sent a memo late Friday to the heads of shuttered departments and agencies that said the office appreciates "cooperation and efforts during this difficult period."
Trump had long pledged to keep the government closed until Congress gave him more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
"I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly or as soon as possible. It’ll happen fast," Trump said from the Rose Garden.
It's unclear whether federal contractors will receive back pay.
To federal employees who have not worked or worked without pay, and their families, the president said, "Not only did you not complain, but in many cases you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and its border security."
Although senators on Capitol Hill expressed relief that an agreement had been reached, Florida Sen. Rick Scott remained frustrated with all the short-term fixes.
"Instead of just one year deciding what we are going to do on the border, why don’t we do it one time and get it behind us?" he said. "It’s frustrating. You can’t plan, you can’t make sure you spend the money well, in start stop, start stop.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and Trump have not yet agreed on a date for the State of the Union. She had sent a letter to the president that said the House wouldn't consider opening the House floor for Trump for the address until the government shutdown ended.
On Thursday, the Senate voted down two competing Republican and Democratic plans to end the shutdown, but senators hinted at a further thawing.
Eva McKend and Samantha-Jo Roth of the Spectrum News DC Bureau and the Associated Press contributed to this story.