Standing in the Rose Garden, President Trump beamed at the assembled cameras. “You just witnessed the greatest job creation agreement in history,” he touted. “Over eight hund—well over, by a lot, by the way—well over eight hundred thousand jobs, just now. Like that!” Trump held up the stopgap spending bill and pantomimed a signature in the air. “And no one, nobody knew it could be this easy.” The bill temporarily reopens the Federal government, which has been partially shut down for 35 days over President Trump’s refusal to consider a spending bill without $5.7 billion to fund a border wall. Now 800,000 federal employees will be returning to work.
Trump dismissed strenuous objections from previously furloughed Bureau of Labor Statistics workers that the re-opening does not count as new growth. “Sure it does. You weren’t working before and now you are, all because of my tremendous victory,” the president insisted. The temporary funding extension, which does not allocate money for a border wall, will last until February 15.
The wall is a contentious proposal in the continuing debate over immigration and border security that midterm campaigning overshadowed in the eleven months since the same issues prompted the previous three-day government shutdown. Experts predict that Congress and the president only have a narrow window to forge a lasting agreement, as the February 15 deadline likely coincides with the eagerly awaited start of the 2020 campaign season.