President Donald Trump announces deal to reopen the US government - temporarily

US President Donald Trump has announced a deal to end the government shutdown as he temporarily backs down over a controversial plan to build a wall on the Mexican border.

After 35 days, the US partial government shutdown has concluded temporarily after President Trump and congressional leaders agreed to fund the affected agencies for three weeks while negotiations on a permanent solution continue.

However Mr Trump threatened to shutdown the government again if a further agreement cannot be reached over funding for the promised wall along America's southern border with Mexico.

"Let's get government open, give us some time, and then we are committed to working together to come up with a bipartisan proposal for border security", said Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called walls immoral and ruled out any discussions, but other top Democrats have at least seemed open to talks. "I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber", the president said in the tweet.

Democrats and other critics doubt or deny the country even needs such a barrier, accusing Trump of twisting facts and figures to overstate the scope of any problem along the country's southern border. It's unclear whether that will be enough time to find a larger deal, and whether a failure to do so might lead to another government shutdown.

In one of the many effects of the shutdown, hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at airports in the NY area and Philadelphia on Friday as more air traffic controllers called in sick.

CNBC's Washington correspondent Eamon Javers said preparation for the address mirrored a "full blown presidential announcement".

After 35 days, the USA partial government shutdown may be finally coming to an end.

Around 800,000 federal employees have now gone 34 days without pay, with tens of thousands being expected to work for free to keep the country running.

In more bad news for Trump, the CBS poll also found that overall House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen as doing a better job on negotiations than Trump, with 47 percent saying she was handling the situation better, while 35 percent felt Trump was doing a better job.

Republican leaders had said Mr. Trump's plan was a reasonable offer and even if Democrats didn't agree with all the details, overcoming the filibuster would have been a sign they were willing to negotiate. The Democrat bill, which would reopen the government without wall funding, fell eight votes short of the 60 votes needed to pass a spending measure.

Trump triggered the shutdown, which began on December 22, with his hard-line wall-funding demand but Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, rejected it on the grounds that a wall would be costly, ineffective and immoral.

"Democrats have been saying for weeks they'll negotiate on wall funding when the government is open".

"Without a Wall there can not be safety and security at the Border or for the United States of America", he said in a tweet. The Democrat legislation, which would reopen the government until February 8, 2019, failed in a 52-to-44 vote. He has floated the idea of declaring a state of national emergency; that move could allow the president to free up billions in emergency funds for the border security wall.

The deal agreed today leaves discussions over Mr Trump's wall funding demands for later talks.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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