A temporary agreement has been reached, allowing Congress to debate a more permanent funding bill. Washington Policy Analyst Ed Mills weighs in.
The stalemate over the government shutdown culminated in a temporary agreement on Friday to reopen the government until February 15, allowing Congress to debate a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security and the appropriate method of addressing President Trump’s border security concerns.
The three-week timeline will ease some political pressure and is set to provide back pay for federal workers, but the challenging part is still ahead. President Trump will have the final say on whether to approve the bill Congress produces, and if the package is deemed unsatisfactory, the likelihood of a declaration of a national emergency greatly increases.
For the moment, President Trump puts the spotlight on Congress, where lawmakers will now debate what (if any) areas of compromise can be part of a bill that provides the requested $5.7 billion in border wall funding. Democrats are likely to open negotiations with funding for broader border security programs aside from a border barrier and a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but it remains to be seen whether immigration hardliners are willing to go along with Democrats’ terms.
Outside factors such as staffing issues at LaGuardia airport and the arrest of Roger Stone early Friday morning may have played a short-term role in shifting the debate in favor of a temporary reopening.
Legislative and regulatory agendas are subject to change at the discretion of leadership or as dictated by events.