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President Donald Trump is scheduled to make an announcement from the White House Friday as Senate leaders negotiated a possible pathway to reopen the federal government and flight delays at major airports intensified the pressure to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
An official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the 1 p.m. EST announcement.
The president is considering endorsing a short-term bill to reopen the government, and is discussing it with aides before speaking, the official said.
Trump’s announcement – on the 35th day of the partial government shutdown – comes amid a flurry of behind-the-scenes negotiations by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in an effort to strike a compromise that Trump would sign.
A potential breakthrough came late Thursday when Trump said he’d consider a “reasonable agreement” worked out by Senate leaders in exchange for a “down payment” on a wall along the U.S. Mexico border.
Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall – one of his signature campaign promises – was at the center of the budget standoff that triggered the shutdown, which is nearing its sixth week.
The push to end the shutdown grew more urgent on Friday after the FAA halted flights coming into New York’s LaGuardia Airport because of staffing shortage and other delays reported at airports in Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Also Friday, some 800,000 federal employees who have been on unpaid leave or working without pay missed their second paycheck since the shutdown began.
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