Donald Trump announces deal to reopen U.S. federal govt until Feb 15

There’s a word for forcing people to work for untold weeks without paying them

Trump, who made the comments to reporters during an immigration event at the White House, said earlier on Friday he had reached a deal with lawmakers to reopen the government until February 15 while they work on Trump's demand for funding for a wall on the USA border with Mexico.

President Trump will speak in the Rose Garden about the partial government shutdown at 1:30 p.m ET on Friday - an indication that a possible short-term deal may have been reached to end the stalemate, even as reports emerged that there is no funding for a border wall in the deal.

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'll vote yes and yes" on both bills.

After Republican and Democratic measures to end the partial government shutdown failed in the Senate, a sobered President Donald Trump and the Democratic Party leadership appeared to soften their positions and edge towards a reluctant compromise.

The shutdown began on 22 December over the president's insistence that Congress allocate $5.7bn to erect a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. He is, of course, referring to declaring a national emergency, a move many standing in opposition would deem extreme. But fewer than half of the furloughed IRS employees recalled during the shutdown to handle tax returns and send out refunds reported for work as of Tuesday, according to congressional and government aides.

Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at airports in the NY area and Philadelphia as more air traffic controllers called in sick.

During the speech the President said "walls work" and claimed the Israel-Palestine wall has a "99.9 percent success rate".

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The shutdown is now in its 34th day, with some 800,000 federal workers left unpaid across the country and in United States installations overseas - and the knock-on effects affecting millions more. He also proposed to revamp immigration laws, including new restrictions on Central American minors seeking asylum in the USA and temporary protections for immigrants who entered the country illegally as children. A half-dozen Republicans, including Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah, defied Trump, voting with Democrats in favour of the measure. Still, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say they will not approve a single dollar for the wall.

Trump said: "Let me be very clear: we really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier".

Democrats in the House of Representatives are working on another funding bill that would include $5 billion for border security, but with the stipulation that this security not include a wall.

The Republican-led Senate votes on Thursday on two competing bills, with neither expected to get the 60 votes needed to pass. The White House expressed openness to the plan, but said it must include a "large down payment" for the President's border wall.

A new poll by The Washington Post and ABC found that Trump's popularity had weakened during the shutdown, with 37 per cent of the public approving of his job performance and 58 per cent disapproving. Some Democrats pledged to support more border security funding than was included in the Democrats' Bill that was blocked in the Senate on Thursday.

"After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have 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", he continued. Other Democrats have said they consider a wall an ineffective, wasteful monument to a Trump campaign promise.

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