Feb 15, 2019: February date the deadline for completed negotiations on border security
UNITED STATES - After the longest shutdown in history, President Donald Trump agreed on Jan 15 to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations continue over security at the Mexican border. Some 800,000 federal workers were furloughed for 35 days in the standoff with Democrats over the president’s demand for a border wall.
They workers can’t discount the possibility of another furlough. During the speech announcing the reopening of the government, Trump warned that he was ready to renew the confrontation if the negotiations fail. He also warned that he might declare a national emergency to bypass Congress altogether if other ways to get his wall fail.
He is widely reported to be softening his demand for a coast-to-coast wall, and more options to a mix of physical wall and smart technology to secure the border.
His announcement about ending the shutdown surprised political supporters and opponents as he had made the wall his non-negotiable condition for reopening the government and a centerpiece of his political platform.
The shutdown affected many essential services, such as air traffic control and FBI and Coast Guard operations, but its damage to the economy might have pushed him the hardest to concede in his demands. The U.S. Budget Office estimated that the shutdown cost US $27 billion.