Monuments and memorials along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and Smithsonian museums that were closed during the partial government shutdown are set to reopen. The Smithsonian National Zoo and Smithsonian museums, which draw crowds of visitors touring the nation's capital, were closed after the shutdown began December 22, now the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The shutdown stemmed from funding gridlock over President Donald Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The National Zoo says staff and volunteers cared for its animals during the shutdown but plan for a full reopening on Tuesday, January 29. "A shutdown will not affect our commitment to the safety of our staff and standard of excellence in animal care," the zoo wrote on its website.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service says that while many parks were accessible throughout the shutdown with basic services, the Park Service is preparing to resume regular operations throughout the country for individual parks. Sites along the National Mall had reopened on Sunday.
Mr. Trump on Friday agreed to end the shutdown for three weeks pending debate over funding of the border wall. The president, however, appeared less than optimistic about reaching a deal on border security,that he puts the odds at less than "50-50" that lawmakers will make the deadline.