Transcript for Trump announces deal to reopen government
Please and thank you George on ABC's Devin Dwyer and Washington for continuing coverage here and ABC news live let's pick up or George left off. It here from some of those workers not just the 800000 but also. Thousands morph contract workers who had been living without pay these past. 35 days in the shut down and we're joined now by two. Of those workers here on ABC news live happy to have with us Carson mocked us he's a four loading EPA official. Living in New Jersey Carson great to see you are here with us yesterday will also have with us. I'm Monique Forte. She's out here Washington she's a federal contractor. Who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Department of Commerce. Also were living without pay great to have both of you with us let's just start with you Carson. I give us your reaction to the president's announcement and the news that you'll be back on the job very shortly. I had an ecstatic about the news I'm excited. Will be able to go back to work on my day and hopefully get that back as soon as possible what the president added his remarks. My main concern is what happens on February 15 that the deal is an east are we gonna have to go through this mess again and when you thousand hundreds of thousands of people out of work. Again. So I'm going to eat earlier what do you what happens on the hill and and what happens with the negotiations I'm. I'm thrilled for now but will be you know waiting to see what happens. You have and as the president said if they don't reach a deal and three weeks we could face yet another shut down potentially. Him declaring a national emergency instead the good news for you Carson. With those paychecks is set to resume also the back page which has previously been approved. We are told will come in the next few days as well some good news for you but I would do want to bring in money Forte. She is not a federal employees she's a contract worker. Monique what he your reaction and also. Know what's your expectation of being able to get back on the job. Oh over it Ed tech commerce and start to make those paychecks again. All I'm very happy that. Mission downers over. I'll be even more happier wants to there was actually signed. Must think is on the paper but. You know eight it takes it takes some time to make a paycheck and so I'm happy to be able to pull back toward. That gives us enough times and make at least one paycheck Blake as you know for contractors we are normally not promised to back pay. In Seoul. It's kind of like we're starting from scratch. And you know I'm hoping the government stays over the past February 15. That's my hope. If it doesn't if that doesn't have been we just have to. Canon do we need to do to get by that's what we've been doing this fire. There were hoping that two for sure and I do know knowing so a federal conference is going to take some time for those wheels start turning. And for the work to start showing up again no doubt. Arm but give us a sense of how difficult this it has been for you your mother of three your husband has some health issues. Your last paycheck was gosh over. Couple weeks ago. The rate. It's been is been a challenge. We. We participate in a food bank last Friday which replenish the food here in the house and Arafat says. Tens of family members and friends to trying to get by I've also started a go for me page like so many other people. And so you know it's just the challenge of just making sure your basic needs a minute best of difficulty knowing in my particular case. My husband is a simple yes congestive heart failure in so. He's not able to cut a hot sick. Might not giving pain because he doesn't have a steady income coming in and so. We just we've been thankful for with the help of friends and families with that thankful for the gulf only pays people that have donated to us and I'm just trying to be very mindful with our spending you know. Barring only the basic things from. You know. Just basic needs that's that's where we are right now and so I'm it has been tough I'm looking forward to making another paycheck but my my long term concern is a weathered. I'll be able today continue making a paycheck on a regular basis. Just yet that uncertainty. Does seem like it will continue at least for the next few weeks or so on the school prayer bring Carson mobs are back into this up in New Jersey Carson you. Are one of the people who has been trying to help your fellow for a load. Workers and contractors. Like Monique we we talked yesterday about your efforts to raise money on social media. To put together some food banks to put together some community meals. It's tell us a little bit go about your work. At the EPA in some of the projects that that you had to let. Sit idle while this shutdown has continued. What's your expectation what are you looking forward to getting back to doing mirror to get this your work back under way. Absolutely so part of my job it EPA is community involvement work so. It has felt natural to kind of organize and mobilize. Over the past month that we've been out of work. But I I organized kind of community involvement efforts are hazardous weeks sites in New Jersey I've got to out. Seven or eight super fund called Superfund sites and these are hazardous weeks late in the community that we are overseen the cleanups border. And part of my job is bringing in the community in kind of help them understand. Are bridging the gap between EPA. And what our construction work looks like an kind of telling them giving them a sense of what are working as an. You know kind of putting their mind at ease as far as the work we're doing and their communities and our helping you. You know mitigate the hazardous waste. And so. He'll serve those are long term cleanup projects and you know to be going back to work with that's ticking clock 03 weeks and you know it's going to be it's going to be a challenge to plan. During Gerber shut down I was supposed to have a public meeting on January 9 for one of my sites. I'm obviously got had to be canceled and I just don't know we're gonna have enough time to reschedule that meeting and get the word out and make sure that we have the credit obligations about that's just one example are. Many of the stalled projects that have been going on EPA and I'm not sure that three weeks is enough time but again the clock starts now so hopefully we're gonna get back to work and get some solid work done in three weeks that we happen we'll play it by air after. Yeah a lot of them are important projects not only at the EPA but all across government awaiting. Workers to return to then get them jump started today just to to refresh if you're just joining us here and ABC news lie president trump just moments ago announcing that he's reached a deal. To reopen the federal government for three weeks until February 15. He says that he's asked Mitch McConnell deported go on the floor the United States senate to sign that he has the expectation that Democrats will join with Republicans. Are remarkably though in the in the bill that will be on the table there's no funding for the president's border wall at this time with the expectation that perhaps. The next three weeks they will be able to work work out some sort of a larger deal the president also made mention of that back pay for these hundreds of thousands of workers across the country that have been out of pain now. For 35 days today being the second payday that many federal workers will not receive a paycheck he said that back pay will be coming very soon. And we should also point out at the top of his remarks today the president after taking some criticism I the past few days for the administration's treatment. Of these federal workers in comments about those federal workers didn't pay homage to their sacrifice during this past month. Here's a little bit of what he had to say. I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers. And their amazing families who have shown such extraordinary devotion. In the face of this recent hardship. You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Many of you who have suffered far greater than anyone. But your families would know or understand. And let's go back to Monique Forte she's a federal contractor. At the Commerce Department who's been auto worker Monique when he get your reaction to the president's comments. About. People like yourself he said I thank you your very very special people. We are special people we go to work every day. You know we want to do a good job you know we're going to Wear to make money for families and I I'm just glad that this item is over. I'm glad that we're moving on from this I guess I just I hope that the government stays over the past the fifteenth. And hopefully you know. This discussion around the border security can be separated from shutting the government down we go to work every day we work extremely hard we're passionate about what we do at our jobs. You know are working as our reputation on the job and so are we wanted to do is do our best and so the American people there are jobs so. Monique. Got thank you very much freer for joining us here on ABC news live thank you for your service. To our country to the government appreciate your time very much. And India it's going to you Carson wanted to get your reaction to the president's comments about federal workers. On and get your take on onion is sort of the the attitude the mentality going forward you've pretty plugged into this. The community out there in your state. A federal workers what what do you think they do is going to be sort of the mindset as we these workers go back to work. Well what I'm really hoping that compound in negotiations loose. That all of the elected officials in Washington consider. You know like Monique said separating the functions of the agent several agencies of the government that were shut out. And separating not from their debates about border security and all the other you know issues that they're debating I think that. I I hope. But they will never will never have to go through this again and they should try to implement a bail more out something we're where we won't be held hostage or. But in this situation again because you know the country. Absolutely. What lies on our functions as agencies. And I know that a lot of my colleagues echo that sentiment so like Monique. You know work. Gibbs also look cried Ender a script especially true in the public sector and public service and we just wanna get back to work in served. Our people I'm and that's what we do that but we can fast so I really hope Brett. You know something better comes out of the next three weeks I'll be eagerly awaiting because you're our. Oh very well said Carson thank you so much for for your service also and also for all the good work you've been doing in the community that we talked about yesterday. On the briefing room thank you again for that and take good care. Meanwhile now the politics of the moment this Carson alluded to there is still very much on resolve the president. In large part single handedly forced this government shutdown over funding for his border wall he's now ended the shut down. Without any fighting in hand but he there is still that fight. On the horizon the president's done a good part of his speech today in the Rose Garden talking again making the case. For why he thinks we need to have border while we're joined now by ABC news. Homeland Security contributor John Cohen he joins us by phone John. You've been a regular here and ABC news live of we tried to analyze the administration's positions on the wall. I give us your reaction to wood to what you heard from the president today and what the likelihood is. You think that that there could be some agreement on border security funding in the next three weeks. This guy. I mean there are some encouraging. Information provided in in the present press conference. Clearly governments reopening. The government workers will get back hey that's great man. And also a time the president seemed to be acknowledging. That effective border security comes through that you set a combination of barriers where it makes sense. Technology and remote area technology that assists. In the screening. It vehicle that ports of entry. And more people I can be and using all of those capabilities. In an intelligence rip it away so that. Our border security operation can adapt to be changing message used. By human and drug smugglers I think what was the last encouraging from my perspective is that the president on the seat couldn't seem to help himself but the far back. Into. Some of the immigration related rhetoric that while popular. With his political days seems to be. And devoid of any accuracy. He kids. The way he characterize. The national security threat at the southern border. I think you know over the past two weeks we've seen that. And much of what has been that has been. You know inflated in ballast or just simply inaccurate as it relates to the terrorism related and and other national security issues that have been raised. He he continued to. Paint a picture aware. Immigrants. And in particular and document are not authorized immigrants. Are driving factor in our domestic crime rates. And that's just simply not the case and they're there is no objective analysis states that anything other than the fact that people that are here. Unity here illegally. Are less likely to be involved. Indian criminal activity that native born people. I didn't hear much about the president talked much about what steps the administration was gonna take. In the near term to deal with the humanitarian issues that the southern border the issues that come from the fact that we are seeing an increase of family unit. Present at the border ports of entry at other parts of the border speaking asylum and in fact in recent days is heard. Some suggestions that we may be taking steps backwards. In yet that area. By DHS. Saying that they are going to. I'm force. People who. Good to come to the border Seeking Asylum back into Mexico Italy the process and and that's and to be certainly something that's going to be challenged legally so. Buyers had some good news some encouraging news on the front and the government's reopening. Distance to be some acknowledgment that border security. Is much more than simply. Concrete or worse still law but they're still seems to be. A lot of sort of be inflammatory political rhetoric. It is messaging. You know could. Complicated. Coming to an agreement. Here quite simply John at least they're talking about this as we're just learning from the Department of Homeland Security yesterday that their border apprehensions down on the southern border. So far this year up 81% compared to last year of course we know historically over the last two decades they've been down significantly but. We are seeing that influx and as you've told us John many times that humanitarian crisis perhaps more than anything. Does the man some attention and perhaps that'll come out of this Jon Cohen thank you so much. For joining us much more from you a little later today at ABC news live up much more full coverage. Of this breaking development here on ABC news live abcnews.com download the ABC news app. If you don't have that you could follow live coverage here on the life channel of course all of our reporting is well.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.