President Donald Trump announced on Friday a temporary, three-week agreement to reopen the federal government while promising to send back pay to workers who stayed on the job during the partial shutdown, including thousands of uniformed service members.
The deal lasts through Feb. 15. At that point, if a new deal is not reached, Trump said the government would shut down again, or he would call for a national emergency at the southern border. The three-week continuing resolution cleared the Senate via a voice vote and the House via unanimous consent Friday afternoon; the president signed it Friday night.
Members of the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, along with many commissioned officers in the U.S. Public Health Service, have worked without pay during the shutdown.
“MOAA applauds the move to reopen the government and hopes it will lead to a solution to a mess that has gone on for far too long,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO. “While it's a good first step, this fight is far from over - our servicemembers past and present, and their families, deserve a long-term fix that will prevent future funding lapses from threatening their hard-earned pay and benefits. MOAA will continue to press for such a fix as talks continue.”
Trump made the announcement in the White House Rose Garden. He spoke for about 15 minutes, thanking federal employees and their families. The deal came with few specifics, though the president did pledge to pay federal employees retroactively, which would include uniformed servicemembers who have worked without pay throughout 2019.
“I will make sure all employees will receive back pay,” he said. “It will happen fast.”
Earlier on Friday, Atkins addressed MOAA's members in a video message, urging them to write to Congress to pass a deal to reopen the government.