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Lawmakers OK Deal to Avert Shutdown; Trump Hesitant

12 Feb

It’s down to the wire.

A group of House and Senate negotiators agreed in principle to a deal to avoid another federal government shutdown; it includes $1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border but not the $5.7 billion for wall construction President Trump demanded, The New York Times reports.

“The agreement would allow for 55 miles of new bollard fencing, with some restrictions on location based on community and environmental concerns, according to two congressional aides, who requested anonymity to disclose details of the private negotiations. That is a fraction of the more than 200 miles of steel-and-concrete wall that Mr. Trump demanded—and 10 miles less than negotiators agreed on last summer, before Democrats took control of the House.”

Trump has doubled down on his demand for a wall since the last partial government shutdown ended, most recently at a rally in El Paso, Texas, last night.

But it’s unclear whether Trump will oppose the new deal, Bloomberg reports, citing an unnamed “administration official.”

It’s “very difficult” to comment “until we actually see the language,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News. “We don’t know what’s in it at this time.”

The new deal includes an agreement to limit the number of beds used for migrants held in detention. It would also “provide $1.7 billion more for border security, including technology at ports of entry, more officers and humanitarian aid,” the Times reports.

Both houses of Congress must pass the proposed legislation, which must be signed by Trump. The current temporary government funding bill expires on Friday.

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