Tuesday, February 12, 2019
President Trump held a rally in El Paso, Texas last night to make his case for building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, as congressional negotiators continue to negotiate over border security funding to avert another shutdown by the Friday deadline.
Shortly after the rally, negotiators apparently has reached an agreement to avoid a government shutdown. CNN reports that congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of this week. The four lead bipartisan negotiators, emerging from talks last night, declined to get into details, but when asked whether it included barrier funding and a resolution to the detention bed issue, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said: "We got an agreement on all of it." Shelby's comments follow those from a Democratic aide involved in the border security funding talks who said earlier yesterday negotiators are "very, very close" to an agreement and they are now checking to see if the emerging proposal would get the votes it needs to pass the House.
Emily Cochrane and Glenn Thrush from the New York Times offer further details on the agreement:
"House and Senate negotiators on Monday night agreed in principle to provide $1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border, part of a broader agreement that would stave off another partial government shutdown without funding President Trump’s wall.
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."