Overnight Defense: Trump agrees to reopen government without wall funding | Senate approves stopgap spending | Dems ask Armed Services chair to block military funding for wall | Coast Guard official assures workers they will receive back pay

Overnight Defense: Trump agrees to reopen government without wall funding | Senate approves stopgap spending | Dems ask Armed Services chair to block military funding for wall | Coast Guard official assures workers they will receive back pay
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Happy Friday and welcome to Overnight Defense. We're Rebecca Kheel and Ellen Mitchell, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

 

THE TOPLINE: The 35-day partial government shutdown appears on the verge of ending -- for now.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE on Friday announced he is agreeing to sign a stopgap spending measure to reopen the government without funding for his proposed border wall.

"I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and re-open the federal government," Trump said during a speech in the Rose Garden.

What's in the deal: The continuing resolution (CR) would fund the government for three weeks.

During that period, a bipartisan committee of House and Senate lawmakers are going to meet to hash out a funding proposal for Homeland Security.

Trump expressed optimism that the resulting pitch would include funds for his long-promised border wall, which he maintained "should not be controversial."

"After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the security of the American people first," Trump said.

The but…: Trump left open the possibility that the government could shut down again in three weeks -- or that he could declare a national emergency as he has floated previously.

"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15 again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," he said.

What's next: Hours after Trump's speech, the Senate easily advanced the three-week funding bill to fully reopen the federal government.

The funding legislation cleared the chamber by a voice vote. The House is also expected to pass the funding bill later Friday and send it to President Trump's desk.

The tipping point?: Pressure had been mounting on Trump to reopen the government as the shutdown dragged on and the effects became more acute.

Thousands of federal workers missed their second paychecks of the shutdown Friday.

Also Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily halted flights into and out of LaGuardia Airport in New York City, citing staffing shortages because of the shutdown.

Coast Guard pay: The news should come as a relief to Coast Guard members, along with the rest of the 800,000 federal employees who have been missing their pay.

Earlier Friday, the Coast Guard vice commandant had sought to reassure the service "in this time of adversity," writing in a letter that "I can assure you that this partial shutdown will eventually come to an end and you will receive all of your back pay."

The Coast Guard has previously said it would take about three to five business days to process pay and benefits for service members once a funding bill is passed.

State of the Union: As previously noted in this newsletter, the State of the Union was caught up in the shutdown, with Trump eventually agreeing to postpone the speech until after the shutdown.

After Trump announced the agreement Friday, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.) said there are still no plans to move forward with the address next Tuesday.

"The State of the Union is not planned now," Pelosi told reporters at a press conference Friday.

"What I said to the president is when the government is open we will discuss a mutually agreeable date and I'll look forward to doing that and welcoming the president to the House of Representatives when we mutually agree on that date."

 

DEMS SAY NO PENTAGON FUNDS FOR BORDER WALL: As noted above, Trump is keeping open the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the border wall.

Declaring a national emergency could unlock Pentagon funding to use for the border wall.

But more than 50 House Democrats are looking to prevent Trump from using future military funds to build the wall.

In a letter led by Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDems seek to stifle primary challenges to incumbents Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with .7 billion antitrust fine | GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims | Dems ask FTC for budget wishlist | Justices punt on Google privacy settlement Dems ask FTC if it needs more money to protect privacy MORE (D-Ill.), and sent Friday, 51 lawmakers ask House Armed Service Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithTrump waiting on watchdog findings for Pentagon head: report 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths MORE (D-Wash.), to use the upcoming fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent the U.S. military "from becoming a pawn in Trump's immoral, wasteful, and potentially illegal border 'wall.'"

What the lawmakers ask: The letter asks Smith to work to ensure that Trump and acting Secretary of Defense Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanTrump waiting on watchdog findings for Pentagon head: report Overnight Defense: Trump to reverse North Korea sanctions imposed by Treasury | Move sparks confusion | White House says all ISIS territory in Syria retaken | US-backed forces report heavy fighting | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE "cannot utilize a fake 'national emergency' to co-opt the military into the construction of the President's wall."

The lawmakers also ask Smith to "continue to signal your intent to impose strong restrictions in the NDAA."

The lawmakers argue that a president's war powers "are the most serious powers held by the Commander in Chief and should never be utilized for political stunts, only genuine national security emergencies.

"As you know the Constitution gives the House the power to appropriate federal funds. Spending funds on a wall Congress has not authorized is a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act as well as a violation of separation of powers," the letter states.

Who signed on: The letter has 51 signatures, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism Lawmakers urge tech to root out extremism after New Zealand Hillicon Valley: Nunes sues Twitter for 0 million | Trump links tech giants to 'Radical Left Democrats' | Facebook settles suits over ad discrimination | Dems want answers over spread of New Zealand shooting video MORE (Miss), Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (Mass.), Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoHouse Democrats open investigation of Trump associates' influence at VA Watchdog probes Trump administration over changes to labor rules Lawmakers push to award Congressional Gold Medal to activist who fought internment in WWII MORE (Calif.), the defense panel's readiness subcommittee head John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiTrump's emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight House Dems demand Pentagon provide details about plans to fund Trump border wall Dem lawmaker: 'The president has it in for California' MORE (Calif.), and 2020 presidential hopeful and House Armed Services member Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Harris's stepkids call her 'Momala' Chicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist MORE (Hawaii).

On the horizon: Smith himself has previously slammed the idea of declaring a national emergency and using Pentagon funding for the wall.

Signaling the importance he is placing on the issue, the committee confirmed Thursday night that its first hearing of the 116th Congress will be on "Department of Defense's Support to the Southern Border."

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. A witness list has not yet been announced.

 

ON TAP FOR MONDAY

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will speak at the Brookings Institution at 9 a.m. https://brook.gs/2RMbefc

Eric Edelman and retired Adm. Gary Roughead, co-chairs of the National Defense Strategy Commission, will speak at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies at noon. https://bit.ly/2Uj7wXw

 

ICYMI

-- The Hill: US warships pass through Taiwan Strait

-- The Hill: Pentagon to examine possible conflict with Amazon employee in $10B contract

-- The New York Times: Greeks approve deal to rename Macedonia, in victory for the West

-- Stars and Stripes: Texan who tried to teach English to ISIS in Mosul has been indicted

-- Associated Press: NATO chief says missile pact in danger after Russia talks