Donald Trump yet to agree to new border wall funding deal to avoid looming Government shutdown – Donald Trump’s America

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Posted

February 12, 2019 17:56:01

A deal to avoid another US Government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the United States’ border with Mexico has been reached, but it is yet to be agreed to by President Donald Trump.

Key points:

  • Details will not be officially released until Tuesday (local time) but some have emerged following the talks
  • Republicans have tentatively agreed to $US1.4 billion for the wall, far less than the $US5.7 billion Mr Trump has been demanding
  • To avoid another partial shutdown the deal must be signed by the President by Friday

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican, said he hoped the deal would be supported by the White House, but it was far from clear if Mr Trump would embrace the agreement.

Shortly after the deal was reached, Mr Trump held a rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, to argue for the wall he said could protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a “tremendous onslaught” of migrant caravans.

Mr Trump said he had heard about progress in the talks just before he took the stage, but he also did not discuss details.

“Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway,” he said.

“Maybe progress has been made, maybe not.”

He has been adamant that Congress approve money for the border wall, though he no longer repeats his 2016 mantra that it will be paid for by Mexico.

Specifics of the deal to be revealed later

Details will not officially be released until Tuesday (local time), but the pact came in time to alleviate any threat of another partial Government shutdown this weekend.

Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown.

They tentatively agreed to far less money for Mr Trump’s border wall than $US5.7 billion ($8.05 billion) he wants, and have settled for about $2 billion, according to congressional aides.

The agreement means 88.5 kilometres of new fencing — far less than the 346 kilometres the White House demanded in December — would be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

Deal tentatively agreed but shutdown still possible

Mr Trump’s December demand for $8.05 billion to fund the border wall, which was rejected by congressional Democrats, triggered a 35-day partial Government shutdown that ended last month without him getting the money.

Mr Trump agreed to reopen the Government last month for three weeks to allow congressional negotiators time to find a compromise on funding for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30, to avert another shutdown.

The handful of politicians leading the negotiations met privately for about two hours on Monday.

They said they had wanted to seal a plan by Monday night.

That would allow time for the legislation to pass the House of Representatives and Senate and be signed by Mr Trump by Friday, when funding is due to expire for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and several other federal agencies.

Without a new injection of federal funds, an array of federal agencies would have to suspend some activities, ranging from the maintenance of national parks to publication of economic data that is important to financial markets.

During the record-long partial government shutdown, which ran from December 22 to January 25, 800,000 federal workers went without pay even though many of them were required to report to work.

The shutdown ended after a shortage of federal air traffic controllers triggered delays of hundreds of flights at airports in the New York and Philadelphia areas.

In recent weeks, Mr Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress did not give him money to build a border wall.

He said that would allow him to use existing funds for other activities to build a wall — an idea that Democrats and many Republicans in Congress oppose and could be challenged in court.

ABC/Wires



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