Lawmakers Reach Tentative Deal To Avoid Another Government Shutdown

Hoping to avoid another prolonged government shutdown, Congressional negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on border security.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., a lead Republican negotiator, said late Monday the two sides have reached an “agreement in principle.”

The agreement reportedly includes $1.4 billion for physical barriers on the border, well short of the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump has demanded for construction or a border wall.

Democrats have also purportedly agreed to drop their demand to reduce the number of illegal immigrants who can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Shelby said the White House has been consulted throughout the negotiations, although it remains to be seen if Trump will sign off on the deal.

Trump continued to tout the success of walls during a rally in the border town of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, claiming sections of the wall are already being built or refurbished despite the dispute with Democrats.

The news comes as lawmakers face a deadline of midnight on Friday to pass a spending bill and avoid another government shutdown.

Details of the agreement are not expected to be unveiled until late Tuesday at the earliest, and lawmakers are likely to use the time to spin the deal as a victory for their side.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was already characterizing the agreement as Democrats caving to Trump’s demands in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said ‘no money for a wall.’ That’s not the case,” McCarthy said. “The Democrats have now agreed to more than 55 miles of new barrier being built.”

McCarthy also claimed Democrats have backed away from their demand that the deal include no ICE detention beds, although he acknowledged the number of beds is not as high as the GOP would have liked.

Last month, Trump agreed to end the record-setting government shutdown, signing legislation to fund the shuttered parts of the government until February 15th.

The bill did not include money for Trump’s controversial border wall, which was the issue that led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

At the time, Trump indicated the three weeks of funding provided by the legislation would give lawmakers time to negotiate on the contentious issue of border security.

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