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Political expert says government workers aren’t out of the woods yet

Posted: 10:25 PM, Jan 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-26 22:11:16-05
Political expert says government workers aren’t out of the woods yet

CAPE CORAL, Fla — The closed for business signs will be coming down and government workers will finally start getting paid as soon as this week, after spending the past month working for free or not working at all.

President Trump signed legislation officially reopening the government Friday.

“Very limited, three week extension to allow the White House, the Senate and the House to hopefully pass a regular budget,” said FGCU Political Science Professor Peter Bergerson.

Bergerson says if Congress and the president can’t agree to a long term budget, the government will shut down again on February 15th.

Until Friday, President Trump refused to sign a budget without funding for a border wall.
He could still get that wall, by going around the budget process.

“He could claim this is a national emergency, and that way he could move money within the Department of Defense,” said Bergerson.

Building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. was a cornerstone promise Trump’s 2016 campaign, and if he can’t deliver, Bergerson says Trump may severely hurt his re-election chances.

“A year from now there will presidential preference primaries, and there will be the Iowa caucuses taking place, and he has to have something to show for it.”

Local Democrats say Trump has politicized the illegal immigration issue, at the expense of government workers.

“Border security has received a lot of funding, and a lot of attention, can it be improved? Absolutely. But the wall has become a metaphor for an administration that desires only having its own way,” said former Democratic candidate for Congress David Holden.

Holden's opponent in the last election, Rep. Francis Rooney, told 4-In-Your-Corner on Saturday the president should remain focused on "securing our border with a wall and invisible fence, and change the way asylum is granted."

The two term congressman said President Trump should have funded the government first, before beginning negotiations with Democrats on wall funding.

4-In-Your Corner also reached out to Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Senator Rubio did not respond to our request for an interview and a spokesperson for Senator Rick Scott’s office says the senator wasn’t available Friday.