Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reacted Friday to President Trump’s announcement that he would support a short-term bill to re-open the government following a months-long partial government shutdown and stalemate between Republicans and Democrats on funding for a wall at the border.
“I am very proud to announce we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said in the Rose Garden on Friday.
The Senate later passed legislation to keep the government running until Feb. 15. However, the deal appeared to include no money for a wall or steel barrier, but Trump said he hoped negotiations would continue in order to reach an agreement on wall funding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a statement saying he “was glad” that both sides were able to make a deal that would also +allow them to “negotiate a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.”
“I’m glad the closed portions of the federal government will re-open and get back online,” the statement said. “I’m glad that the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard, law enforcement, the TSA, and all the other federal employees will not have to go longer without pay for their work, and will receive their back pay. I know the pain that this episode has caused to many Kentuckians and to people around the country. They deserve this resolution.”
He then pointed his comments toward Democrats, saying he hoped they would “stay true to the commitment they have stated constantly over the past weeks – that once government was re-opened, they would be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a tweet about Trump’s announcement, described it as being “great news” for federal employees furloughed during the partial shutdown.
“The longest shutdown in American history will finally end,” Schumer tweeted. “The president has agreed to our request to open the government then debate border security. This is great news for 800,000 federal workers & millions of Americans who depend on government services.”
Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also held a joint news conference following the president’s announcement, where the minority leader reiterated that the deal was “great news” for the affected federal employees. But he also took aim at Trump, saying he hoped “the president has learned his lesson.”
“The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers over an unrelated political dispute,” Schumer said. “Working people throughout America empathized with federal workers and were aghast at what the president was doing to them. Hopefully now the president has learned his lesson.”
Pelosi, D-Calif., said they were "pleased" that a deal to reopen the goverment had been reached. While discussing the hardships furloughed workers faced during the partial shutdown, Pelosi commended them for their "courage" and "determination."
“It's really hard for some in the administration to understand how people live paycheck to paycheck and how marginal some of their existences are," she added.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in a statement said the president’s announcement has allowed Democrats a chance to negotiate border security. However, if talks prove to be unsuccessful, “executive action is still very much under consideration.”
During Trump’s remarks, he made reference to his earlier comments about declaring a national emergency, but said he didn’t want to use the “very powerful weapon.” He has sought $5.7 billion in money toward a wall or steel barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border
“The president is sticking by his commitment to keep our communities safe and has assured me that nothing will deter him from accomplishing that goal,” Meadows said in the statement. “His resolve remains steadfast. Democrats now have yet another opportunity to come to the table and negotiate, where all Americans will be able to judge for themselves whether they’re truly serious about securing our border.”
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who recently announced plans to run for president in 2020, said on Twitter that the partial shutdown “has been a nightmare” for furloughed Americans workers who “shouldn’t have had to pay for the president’s vanity project.”
John Kasich, the former Ohio governor and candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, tweeted that he found it “encouraging” that Trump and lawmakers were working to “find a path to reopen our gov’t.”
“True, lasting solutions require bipartisanship and America is hopeful that the conference cmte can set aside politics and put country over party,” he said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, took a different tone, however, saying the partial shutdown had been “all for nothing!”
“How pathetic. On Dec. 19, the Senate unanimously passed essentially the same legislation that we will vote on today. We are back to exactly where we started,” Sanders tweeted. “Thank you, Mr. President, for shutting down the government and holding 800,000 federal employees hostage.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., reacted similarly to Sanders, tweeting: “So Trump is agreeing to the EXACT SAME DEAL he rejected 35 days ago. What a debacle. I'm so so sorry, America.”
GOP Sen. Richard Shelby from Alabama praised Trump's efforts on Twitter, saying the deal was a good move forward.
“I commend the President for his continued willingness to negotiate and find a way to reopen the government. A three-week continuing resolution is a step in the right direction. This is what we need to do for the American people,” he tweeted.
Fox News Adam Shaw, Chad Pergram and Jason Donner contributed to this report.