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President Trump Signs Bill to End Government Shutdown

US Flag White House AP
US Flag White House AP

The US Senate and US House of Representatives both voted to approve a temporary plan to end the government shutdown Friday evening.

President Donald Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon that he had reached a deal with Congress, clearing a path to end the 35-day partial government shutdown. 

He thanked federal workers who "have shown such extraordinary devotion" throughout the ordeal. Trump said many workers did not complain and he said some even encouraged him to keep going to fight for border security.

He said federal workers will receive back-pay as soon as possible.

The president signed the bill Friday evening. 

The measure allows the government to reopen for three weeks. It doesn't include any border security funding -- it's just a clean resolution to get federal employees back to work in order to get Democrats to agree to start earnest talks about separate funding to protect the border.

Trump said the idea is for both parties to work over the next three weeks, with input from Homeland Security, to come up with a border security plan. He said this is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the American people.

"We can put country before party, we can show all Americans all around the world that both parties are united at protecting our people. Many disagree, but I really feel working with Democrats and Republicans we can make a truly great and secure deal work for everyone," he said.

Trump said walls do work, and he's not giving up his push for a steel, see-through border fence. "Our proposed structures will be in predetermined high-risk locations," Trump said, conceding the US doesn't need the entire border to have a wall since some areas already have natural barriers to deter human traffickers, drug smugglers, and other security threats.

The president said if he doesn't get a fair border deal from Congress after three weeks of negotiation, then the government will shut down again, or he will end up declaring a national state of emergency to allow him to protect America's southern border.

"We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down again on February 15th or I will use the powers afforded to me under the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security," he said.

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