Government Reopens For Now

The record-setting government shutdown is officially over, at least temporarily. President Donald Trump agreed Jan. 25 to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations continue over a proposed border wall and border security generally. The government was shut down for an unprecedented 35 days.
The roughly 800,000 federal employees who have been furloughed or working without pay will be receiving paychecks and back pay, but the relief may be short-lived.
“Twenty-one days goes very quickly,” Pres. Trump said via Twitter Jan. 26.
The stopgap spending bill he signed Friday night, Jan. 25, restored normal operations at many government agencies until Feb. 15.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced Jan. 25 that he will lead a small bipartisan group of lawmakers responsible for drafting border security legislation after the Senate reached a deal to end the 35-day partial government shutdown.
“For the first time in 35 days,” said Tester, “800,000 federal workers and their families can breathe a sigh of relief. But the deal struck today is only a short-term fix to this irresponsible government shutdown. Now we’ve got to work together to craft a long-term bipartisan solution that actually protects our communities and doesn’t undermine American workers.”
Congressman Greg Gianforte’s remarks were optimistic, but supportive of the President’s goals, “This short-term deal ends the shutdown and provides Montana’s dedicated federal employees with the paychecks they need,” said Gianforte in a prepared statement. “The deal also gives Democrats and Republicans an opportunity to come to the table, negotiate in good faith, and find a long-term solution to fund the government and secure our borders. Based on what I saw when I toured the southern border this week and talked with ranchers and border patrol agents about the challenges they face, we can’t afford to have open borders and we must make critical investments in substantial, strong physical barriers to secure them.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report Jan. 28 estimating the permanent loss to the economy of the shutdown at approximately $3 billion.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has extended deadlines for many of its programs because of the shutdown and the emergency nature of many of the programs. Deadlines for the Market Facilitation Program and Marketing Assistance have been extended to Feb. 14, as have deadlines for the Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, the Tree Assistance Program and Acreage Reporting. For a full list, contact your local FSA office. The Roosevelt County FSA office can be reached at 787-6262.