The following welcome report is from our senior political advisors, Patricia Knight and Peter Reinecke:
"This afternoon, the president announced a deal to reopen the shuttered government agencies (including FDA) for three weeks. The deal includes no funding for border security. As part of the agreement, that will continue to be negotiated by legislators and border security experts. If there is no deal by Feb. 15, the president said he would use his emergency powers to provide funding for his border wall. Presumably, another shutdown could occur at that point. The president has already signed legislation to guarantee furloughed workers back-pay, and he said during his remarks today that he wants paychecks to be expedited to furloughed workers.
"Reports of family hardships, growing delays in air travel and a potential impact on the tax season grew this week, leading the Senate to attempt to end the shutdown by considering competing procedural alternatives that would either fund the government for three weeks or endorse the president’s proposal for wall funding as part of a larger funding bill. Both were turned back, but six GOP senators voted against the president, and this was a clear signal that support for wall funding was starting to crumble.
"Both the House and Senate are expected to endorse the legislation later today, and the president will sign it, starting the three-week clock."
We will continue to keep you updated.