President Donald Trump announced Friday that a deal has been reached reopen the government, ending the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
The stopgap agreement does not include funding for Trump’s border wall — the issue that spurred the 35-day standoff — but will include a provision guaranteeing back pay for roughly 800,000 furloughed workers.
“In a short while, I will sign a bill to reopen the government for three weeks until Feb. 15,” Trump said Friday while briefly addressing reporters in the White House Rose Garden. “I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly or as soon as possible.”
On Thursday, the president said that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were about to reach a reasonable agreement to end the shutdown, he would support it.
The shutdown began just before Christmas and had left approximately 400,000 workers home from work without pay, while another 400,000 were required to be on the job without pay. The workers will receive back pay, under the agreement.
Trump and Democrats on Capitol Hill had been at an impasse over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion to build his wall along the southern border.
Though the deal didn’t include money for the wall, Trump continued to make a case for building barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border, which he said lawmakers on both sides agree will be “an important part of the solution.”
“Walls should not be controversial,” he said.
The news was met with joy from government workers, including the thousands of African Americans who have gone without pay since the shutdown began.
“Are you serious? Thank God,” said Sharon Clifford, a TSA worker who sought babysitting jobs during the shutdown and was visiting her parents in North Carolina to ask for a loan to get through the month.