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Cuellar Critical Of Trump Plan To Temporarily End Shutdown

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U.S. House of Representatives

A South Texas congressman, who sits on the U.S. House’s powerful appropriations committee, is thrilled by President Trump’s announcement to temporarily reopen the federal government. But he warns, there's much more work to do.

The federal government will reopen for three weeks but Congressman Henry Cuellar, whose district stretches from San Antonio to the U.S.-Mexico border, said the American people are not any better off.

“We’re back where we were in December; we’re exactly where we were. Nothing was done, except for all the employees who suffered through all this, the economy, what I think we lost $5 (billion) to $6 billion from the economy; I mean that’s where we’re at,” Cuellar said.

Democrats and the Trump administration have until Feb. 15 to reach a deal.

Cuellar agrees with fellow Democrats that the proposed steel border wall that led to the shutdown is not a solution. But the president said if no deal is reached, he might issue an emergency order and take executive action.

Mark Jones, who teaches political science at Rice University, sees no political value in that move.

"I think, at this point, the negative consequences have been born primarily by the president and Republicans for the shutdown, so the president will be more likely to go with the emergency action to begin construction on the wall if for no other reason than to save face,” Jones said.

Jones thinks any effort to take executive action will end up stuck in the federal courts.

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Ryan Poppe can be reached atrpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter@RyanPoppe1

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.