Congressional negotiators agreed Monday night to far less money for President Trump’s border wall than the White House’s $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion.
Congressional negotiators reached agreement to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, overcoming a late-stage hang-up over immigration enforcement issues, the Associated Press reports. Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed Monday night to far less money for President Trump’s border wall than the White House’s $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. It’s not clear whether Trump will support the deal, however.
The agreement means 55 miles of new fencing — constructed through existing designs such as metal slats instead of a concrete wall — but far less than the 215 miles the White House demanded in December. The fencing would be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. It actually closely mirrors Trump’s original budget request from last winter. The split-the-differences compromise contains plenty to anger lawmakers on the right and left — too much border fencing than many Democrats would like and too little for conservative Republicans. Its authors praised it as a genuine compromise that would keep the government open and allow everyone to move on. “With the government being shut down, the specter of another shutdown this close, what brought us back together I thought tonight was we didn’t want that to happen” again, said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL). Details of the plan were not to be released until Tuesday afternoon.