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Lawmakers announce deal to prevent shutdown, but prospects remain uncertain

Jennifer Haberkorn and Molly O'Toole, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers late Monday reached an agreement in principle on border security that would allow them to fund the government beyond Friday, according to congressional officials from both parties.

Major parts of the government would shut down as of this weekend without a deal. The agreement to avert the shutdown will still have to be approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

The deal, which congressional aides warned was only tentative, would provide $1.375 billion for border barriers, according to a senior congressional aide who confirmed details but was not authorized to be quoted by name.

The plan would fund not only the Department of Homeland Security -- the center of the political dispute over border funding -- but also several other agencies that were forced to shut down in December and January.

The money the deal would provide for fencing would be far less than the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded. In return, Democrats dropped their demand for a reduction in the number of people that immigration enforcement officials could hold in detention.

At a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night, Trump said he had not yet seen the details of the proposed deal because it was reached as he was preparing to go onstage.

 

"I said, wait a minute, I've got to take care of my people from Texas. I got to go. I don't even want to hear about it," he said. "I don't know what they mean 'progress is being made.'"

Later, however, he said the reports could represent "good news."

"Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway," he added.

Whether the bill can be approved by the full Congress remains unclear. Some liberal Democrats are unlikely to welcome new funding for a border fence. Conservative Republicans may balk at funding only a portion of Trump's original $5.7 billion demand.

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