Trump, Congress agree to temporarily reopen government

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After more than a month, the federal government will completely re-open for a short time.
 
“I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks, until February 15th,” said President Trump. He did sign that bill late Friday night.
 
The measure allows federal workers to be paid again. About 800,000 of them have just missed a paycheck Friday for the second time. The deal does not include new funding for a border wall.
 
“Hopefully it means a lesson has been learned: shutting down government over a policy difference is self-defeating,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “It accomplishes nothing but pain and suffering for the country and the American people.”
 
The announcement comes the same day the FAA slowed air traffic at major airports in the Northeast. The cause was a shortage of air traffic controllers who are among those working without pay.
 
LaGuardia and Newark Airports were hit the hardest, but the delays rippled elsewhere including Burlington International Airport.
 
“This afternoon we’re seeing a delay to the LaGuardia airport for the afternoon flights,” said Nic Longo, Deputy Aviation Director. “This is something we’ve never seen before.”
 
President Trump said the shutdown could happen all over again if he and lawmakers can’t come to an agreement.
 
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress the government will either shut down on February 15th again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” Trump said.  
 
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said the deal is the exact same one that the President could have made weeks ago. In a statement, he said:
 
“For 35 days, President Trump has inflicted pain on the American people and compromised our national security. And for what?  All of this pain and suffering to end where we began. I hope that the President has learned that Congress is a coequal branch of government, and the American people are not pawns to be played with in his political games.”
 
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik also spoke out against the shutdown.
 
“This government shutdown was unnecessary and inexcusable,” Stefanik said. “I will continue to be a strong voice – with a voting record to back it up – to fund our federal agencies. Now, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make a deal to address the need for border security.”

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