Congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal on border security that would give President Donald Trump far less money than he’d demanded for new barriers and would avert another government shutdown.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said lawmakers agreed on all seven spending bills needed to keep government agencies open, including the Department of Homeland Security that oversees border protection.
The plan includes $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of border fencing in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley area, according to congressional aides who spoke on condition of anonymity. The amount is less than the $5.7 billion sought by Trump.
In addition, two aides said Democrats dropped their demand for a cap on detention beds for immigrants detained within the U.S., but the overall cap on beds, including those detained at the border, would drop to 40,520 from 49,057.
The agreement was announced about a half hour before Trump took the stage in the border city of El Paso, Texas, at a political rally where he said he heard there was a deal, but told his audience, “Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway.”
“We’re setting the stage, we’re setting the table, we’re doing whatever we have to do,” Trump said.
Earlier, his campaign said in a fundraising pitch that the rally was designed “to show Democrats how much Americans demand The WALL.”