When President Trump and congressional lawmakers ended the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history last month, they did so by providing temporary government funding until February 15th—forcing lawmakers to form a new deal by then to keep the government open.
But, with Trump demanding $5.7 billion for the construction of a new border wall and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming she would never give him even a dollar for the wall, a prospective deal seemed uncertain.
Despite the polarizing opinions, Fox News reports, members reached an “agreement in principle” which includes funding for the construction of a new border wall.
Check it out, from Fox News:
Congressional negotiators revealed Monday evening that they’ve reached “an agreement in principle” on border security funding that includes more than $1.3 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
When asked if they had an agreement that President Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: “We think so. We hope so.” Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, declined to give details of the deal but said a final text could be released by Wednesday.
Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump before several Cabinet-level departments shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.
Sources tell Fox News the $1.3 billion can be used only for new construction that would cover approximately 55 miles of border territory in the Rio Grande Valley.
The White House had requested $5.7 billion for the border wall and the administration had dangled the possibility that Trump would declare a national emergency and divert money from the federal budget for wall construction, but that move almost certainly would be challenged in Congress as well as in the courts.
It is unclear if Trump is intending to sign the tentative deal into law as he spent Monday night in El Paso, Texas holding a rally in support for the border wall.
“At a campaign-style rally Monday night in El Paso, Texas, Trump said he was told lawmakers were making progress in their bid to avert another shutdown. However, the president told his staff that he didn’t want to hear about it and that it was important to speak ‘to my people from Texas’ first,” Fox News reports.
“I had a choice,” Trump added, per the report. “I could’ve stayed out there and listened, or I could have come out to the people of El Paso and Texas, I chose you.”
As BizPac Review reports, Trump said that he would not sign into law a bill which would force immigration officials to release criminals back onto the streets.
“I will never sign a bill that forces the mass release of illegal criminals into our country. I will never oppose or in any way mistreat our great heroes from ICE, border patrol and law enforcement,” Trump said.
He continued: “We will always stand with those brave men and women. We will always be with them. We will take care of them just like they take care of us.”