After 35 days, the longest U.S. government shutdown in American history, the executive and legislative branches of government agreed to a funding plan to reopen affected agencies and pay federal employees.

The stoppage began Dec. 22 when the president and Congress could not agree on a funding plan that included $5 billion to construct a permanent wall along portions of the border with Mexico.

On Friday, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a continuing resolution to fund the government and provide $5 billion for border security, but no money to build a permanent wall. Both the Senate and House approved the legislation Friday afternoon, but the continuing resolution lasts only until Feb. 15. Both branches must reach a more substantial agreement by then or the government may go through a second shutdown.

Both Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, who represents a small part of Tracy and all of Mountain House, and Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, who represents most of Tracy and the rural area, cautioned against reading too much into the accord.

“While I am pleased we have reached an agreement, I also recognize that this is a short-term solution to a bigger problem,” McNerney wrote in a news release, calling the shutdown a time of “chaos” that dedicated federal workers suffered through.

“Throughout this shutdown, the House passed numerous bills to restore funding, but our efforts were repeatedly rejected," McNerney continued. "For over a month, our national security, our economy and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of federal workers were jeopardized and used as a bargaining chip. This is no way to govern. Negotiations in Washington should not come at the expense of American security and prosperity.”

In a tweet, Harder wrote: “This shutdown should have never happened, but glad that the Pres. & leaders in both Houses have agreed to compromise. Let’s put this sad episode behind us so both sides can work on a permanent solution to fund our government, secure our border, & fight for Central Valley families.”

Federal workers were supposed to be paid Friday. It is unclear how they will be paid for any time they went without paychecks.

Contact the Tracy Press at or 830-4231.

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