Shutdown Over, Trump Turns Tweets to New Topic: Bible Literacy

(Bloomberg) -- Days after striking a deal with Democrats to end a record-long government shutdown without securing funding for his border wall, President Donald Trump turned his Twitter account to a new subject Monday and backed proposals in some states that would allow students to study the Bible in public schools.

So-called Bible literacy bills are pending in several states, and Trump appeared to be responding to a Fox News report and interview with North Dakota State Representative Aaron McWilliams discussing a bill in his state. Similar efforts have been introduced in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia and West Virginia, and Kentucky enacted one such proposal last year, USA Today reported last week.

“Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible,” Trump said on Twitter. “Starting to make a turn back? Great!”

Trump also tweeted about Starbucks Corp. Chairman Emeritus Howard Schultz mulling an independent presidential bid, his tariffs on imported steel, and retweeted a criticism of the news media on Monday -- the first official day back for more than 800,000 government employees who were either furloughed or working without pay.

Trump on Friday agreed to legislation reopening the government, ending the partial shutdown that began Dec. 22 when he and congressional Democrats deadlocked on the president’s demands for taxpayer funding for a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump had vowed during the presidential campaign that Mexico would pay the wall.

Trump accepted a deal to continue funding for the shuttered departments until Feb. 15 to allow for bipartisan negotiations on a border-security plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Don Beyer, both Democrats, said Monday the House plans to move ahead this week with a vote on legislation that would give government employees -- including those who missed two paychecks -- a raise.

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