President Donald Trump spoke at the White House Friday afternoon, announcing a deal that secured funding to reopen the government for three weeks. The deal comes on the 35th day of the federal shutdown, the longest shutdown in the history of the United States government.
"I am very pleased to announce that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and open the federal government," Trump said, adding that he had the opportunity to declare a national emergency to build the wall but decided not to do so at this time.
Watch his announcement in the video above.
Trump also thanked the federal workers and their families who worked for several weeks without pay, calling them "fantastic people" and "incredible patriots."
"In many cases you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and our border security," he said to federal workers. He said federal workers would receive back pay "very quickly," or "almost immediately."
The deal, which Trump said he will sign later Friday, will reopen the government for three weeks until Feb. 15.
He said that he expected Democrats and Republicans to cooperate on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, although he reiterated that building a wall was important to border security.
"I really feel that in working with Democrats and Republicans, we can make a truly great and secure deal for everyone," he said. "Walls should not be controversial."
"We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea," Trump said, reiterating that "no border security plan is complete" without a physical barrier.
"If we don't get a fair deal from congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15 again or I will use the powers afforded to me ... to address this emergency," Trump concluded. "We will have great security."
The announcement to reopen the government came on the same day that the Federal Aviation Administration announced that all flights into and out of Hartsfield-Jackson LaGuardia Airport were halted due to staff shortages caused by the shutdown. Other airports on the East Coast, like in Philadelphia, Newark, Washington, D.C., Jacksonville and Tampa were affected by the temporary delays.0comments
Union leaders and elected officials had previously warned about dangers posed to the nation's air traffic system because of the prolonged government shutdown.
"This is exactly what [Association of Flight Attendants] and other aviation unions have been warning would happen. The aviation system depends on the safety professionals who make it run,” said Sara Nelson, the group’s president. “They have been doing unbelievably heroic work even as they are betrayed by the government that employs them. They are fatigued, worried and distracted, but they won’t risk our safety. So the planes will stay on the ground. This is anything but a sickout — it is only about our safety and the air traffic controllers' absolute commitment to it.”