About 800,000 federal employees were furloughed or worked without pay when about a quarter of the government closed during parts of December and January. They missed two paychecks, and still face the prospect of more financial hardship if lawmakers and Trump cannot agree on spending legislation.
The president said Tuesday he “accepted the first” shutdown and is “proud of what we accomplished” with it. Before funding lapsed in December, Trump said he would be “proud” to close the government over the issue of border security — then tried to pin the blame on Democrats. Various public opinion polls showed a majority of Americans put the onus for the shutdown on Trump.
Trump claimed on Tuesday that Democrats would own the closure if funding lapses again Saturday. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have backed the deal brokered by bipartisan appropriators.
Schumer called the agreement “a path forward for our country” away from “a dreaded government shutdown.”
Trump said he would decide whether to sign the spending measure once he sees the final details. Legislation is expected by late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
GOP lawmakers plan to push him toward signing it before then. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Tuesday he hopes to speak to the president later in the day.
“I’ll tell you and I’ll tell the president, ‘this is a down payment,'” he told reporters.
Again denied funding for his proposed border wall by Congress, the president claimed he would build the structure anyway. He said he is “adding things” to the border security agreement — though it was unclear if he meant he wants to include more provisions in the congressional agreement or take more steps through executive action.
Trump again said he is considering declaring a national emergency to allocate money for the wall without congressional approval. Congressional Republicans are divided over an emergency declaration, which would swiftly spark lawsuits.
The Trump administration may take funds from “far less important areas” in order to construct the barrier, the president added.
Some of Trump’s allies in conservative media who have pushed for a border wall saw the deal as a poor one for the president. Fox News host and Trump confidant Sean Hannity called it a “garbage compromise.”
Comments from conservative Trump supporters in part led to the president’s veto threat in December.
— CNBC’s Ylan Mui contributed to this report