UPDATED 8:03 AM PT – Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Congressional lawmakers have reached a border security deal with just days to go before another potential government shutdown.
“We reached an agreement in principle, between us, on homeland security and the other six bills,” stated Sen. Richard Shelby, (R) chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The deal allocates $1.375 billion for a physical barrier, which would be enough to build 55-miles of a new steel barrier along the Rio Grande in Texas. However, this is only about a quarter of the $5.7 billion the president is asking for and less than a previous Senate agreement he rejected last year, which is raising questions as to whether he’ll back the deal.
“I would say if we got $5 billion, we could do a tremendous chunk of wall.” — President Donald Trump.
The agreement also includes $1.7 billion for Department of Homeland Security spending, which could be used for security at ports of entry, humanitarian aid and customs officers.
Negotiations reportedly stalled over how many beds would be available at ICE facilities. Lawmakers eventually agreed to provide enough funding for 40,000 beds, but this number could increase if the government were to pull money from other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security.
“Not a single one of us is going to get every single thing we want, but nobody does,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D) Vermont. “But we’re going to get what is best for the United States.”
The negotiating team will now work on a draft of the bill, which will be introduced to the Senate for a vote.
Lawmakers, however, are already coming out against the deal. Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan took to Twitter just minutes after news of the deal broke, saying it didn’t make the cut.
While the President was giving a great speech in El Paso, Congress was putting together a bad deal on immigration.#DoWhatWeSaid
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 12, 2019
If lawmakers and the president don’t get on board by the end of Friday night, the government would enter yet another shutdown. It is yet to be decided who will be receiving the brunt of the blame this time around.
Original Source -> Negotiators reach tentative agreement on border security to avoid shutdown