By ALEXANDER WILLIS
President Trump announced on Friday that he has instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put a proposal to temporarily end the government shutdown on the Senate floor “immediately,” which he vowed to sign.
The proposal includes the reopening of the federal government until February 15, allowing federal workers to receive paychecks again, as well as their back pay. The proposal did not appear to include any funding for a border wall, which had sparked the shutdown in the first place.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in a statement that she was grateful for federal workers being able to receive their back pay, and she would continue to advocate for stronger border security on the country’s southern border.
“While this action solves the immediate problem of funding the back pay of 800,000 federal workers, it does not address the urgent need to end the humanitarian crisis on our southern border,” Blackburn said in a statement. “It does not end the illegal flow of drugs, gangs and human traffickers. Congress’ work on this issue is far from over.”
During his announcement from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said that he had decided not to pursue declaring a national emergency, which could potentially see funds allocated for a border wall without congress’ support – something Trump has been teasing for weeks. Trump also appeared hopeful that Democrats and Republicans would eventually support more border security in the future.
“I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly, or as soon as possible – it’ll happen fast,” Trump said. “After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside – I think – and put the security of the American people first.”
Blackburn continued by reaffirming her commitment to funding border security, as well as her support to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows for children brought into the United States illegally to renew a state of deferred action from deportation every two years.
“I will continue to support our border patrol and their three essential needs: a border barrier, additional technology and more officers and agents on the border,” Blackburn said. “I also support ending the DACA program, chain migration and the visa lottery system.”