Federal Government to Get Back to Business

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President Trump today announced that he will support a short-term spending bill to re-open the government, temporarily ending the partial government shutdown that has dragged on for more than a month — in spite of a day earlier saying Republicans would not “cave” on his demands for funding for a wall on the southern border.  The President says the deal would keep the government open for three weeks until February 15 and that a bill would go before the Senate immediately.

FOXNews says that the House is expected to advance the bill to re-open the government in the early evening of Friday.

On Thursday, Delaware Governor John Carney announced a state-guaranteed, low-interest loan program to assist federal workers in the state who are going unpaid because the partial government shutdown. Loans funded through the program would be made by M&T Bank and with a loan guarantee from the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA). Workers and their families could use loan proceeds to keep up with their mortgages, pay utility bills, and other housing-related expenses during the shutdown.

This temporary ending of the shutdown could last only until February 15 and Governor Carney’s office tells WGMD about this state-guaranteed, low-interest loan program, “We’re relieved that the federal government will at least temporarily re-open. That will help federal workers and their families who have been forced to go without pay through no fault of their own. Should the government close again, we are committed to offering this assistance to federal workers and their families.”

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U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement after President Trump agreed to support a three week continuing resolution to end the partial government shutdown and reopen the federal government.

“For the last 35 days, millions of Americans have faced increasing threats to our health and safety and hundreds of thousands of federal employees have endured significant hardships simply because President Trump refused to accept a bipartisan agreement in Congress to fund the government and negotiate significant investments in border security.
“I’m encouraged the President has realized he cannot get what he wants by recklessly shutting down the government. I helped lead a bipartisan effort in the Senate to urge President Trump to re-open the government for three weeks and allow Congress to debate appropriate border security and immigration policies.
“I support smart, effective border security investments and humane changes to our immigration system, and I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to reach those goals.”

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Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released a statement following the President’s announcement that he will finally end the Trump Shutdown and support a bipartisan, short-term bill to re-open the government – the same deal that President Trump rejected 36 days ago that caused the government shutdown in the first place. 

Let’s be very clear: on day 36 of this unnecessary shutdown, we have ended up exactly where we could have been on day one. This short-term continuing resolution is exactly what the Senate passed unanimously on December 19, 2018. The only thing that has changed in the last five weeks is the pain that President Trump has needlessly inflicted on hundreds of thousands of Americans, servicemembers and small businesses. This senseless shutdown has cost our economy billions of dollars. It has put our national security at risk. Most shamefully, it has caused pain and anxiety for families in Delaware and across the country.
“While it’s good news that our government will finally be reopened and federal workers will receive their long overdue paychecks, they should never have been treated like pawns. And there are far too many Americans, including federal contractors, who will not be made whole. People have lost income. Their credit has been impacted. Their families have been forced to go without through no fault of their own. Some have even lost their jobs. To all those affected, I offer my sincere apologies that you were ever put in this situation. It is shameful. We owe it to you to ensure that you are never again the victims of such irresponsible behavior.
“The President’s announcement today makes perfectly clear that this shutdown – the longest in our government’s history – was entirely avoidable and unnecessary. Now, let’s have the fact-based conversation about smart border security measures and immigration reforms that members on both sides of the aisle have been eager to have for over a month now. In recent days, I have had productive, bipartisan conversations about how we can move forward and find principled compromises that enhance our security in effective ways. We don’t all agree on everything. But Democrats and Republicans do agree that we need to secure our borders, and we have thoughtful ideas about how we can do just that – ideas that have proven effective and come from the men and women who work on our border every day.
“As I have said repeatedly for the last five weeks, once the government is reopened, we should capitalize on those areas of bipartisan agreement, including providing funding for smart border security measures. There is also bipartisan agreement about providing permanent protections and a pathway to legal status for Dreamers and TPS recipients. And, just last week, even the Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that the way to seriously address migration to our border is to provide aid to the Northern Triangle countries in Central America — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — and fully fund the Alliance for Prosperity.
“We should seize this opportunity, and make the next three weeks count. We have had success in the past, and I am optimistic that we can do it again now that the government is back open for business.”