Feb. 12 (UPI) — Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reached a deal “in principle” late Monday that would avert another government shutdown — if it’s passed and signed by President Donald Trump.
The committee met three times to discuss the bills needed to placate Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump, who so far has refused any bill that doesn’t include $5.7 billion toward a wall on the southern border.
Lawmakers wouldn’t discuss the details publicly but sources told NBC News, The Hill and CNN the bill includes $1.375 billion for physical barrier enhancements, 55 miles of new barrier, $1.7 billion for border security enhancements and 40,520 detention beds for immigrants.
“We’ve had a good evening. We’ve reached an agreement in principle between us on the Homeland Security and the six other bills,” Senate appropriations committee Chairman Richard Shelby said.
The negotiations occurred before Trump visited the border at El Paso, Texas, Monday where he spoke to a crowd of supporters and promised to build the wall. He also didn’t mention a limit on the number of detention center beds. Democrats have sought to reduce the number of beds while Republicans are trying to increase it.
“I will never sign a bill that forces the mass release of violent criminals into our country,” Trump said. “And I will never abolish or in any way mistreat our great heroes from ICE and Border Patrol and law enforcement.”
The bill includes seven remaining fiscal year 2019 appropriations needed to fund the government, which includes Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and border security. The bipartisan committee said they have the support of party leadership.
“There’s not a single one of us who’s going to get every single thing we want, but nobody does,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said. “But we are going to get what is best for the United States.”
The goal is to get a bill to the president’s desk by Friday before government funding runs out and another shutdown begins. The last stoppage lasted for 35 days. Trump ultimately struck a deal with lawmakers for a short-term fix after the shutdown began to seriously impact air travel in the Northeast.
Trump tweeted Sunday that negotiations were not going well and accused Democrats of behaving “irrationally.”