Negotiators Reach ‘Deal’

PUBLISHED: 6:19 PM 12 Feb 2019

Negotiators Reach ‘Agreement In Principle’ For Budget With Wall Funding

Although both sides are spinning the ‘agreement’ as a win, not everyone is pleased with the potential deal that includes funding for a border barrier.

Richard Shelby feels good about the deal.

Last night, congressional negotiators announced that they had reached an ‘agreement in principle’ to fund the government and will satisfy President Trump’s (and indeed, the American people’s) demand for border wall funding.

In order to avert another government shutdown by Friday, the group met three times yesterday and developed a compromise that is largely beneficial to conservative requests.

“We reached an agreement in principle between us on all the homeland security and the other six bills,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a lead GOP negotiator.

“The White House has been consulted all along,” Shelby added, noting that he’s been given “latitude” to negotiate on behalf of the administration.

The tentative deal provides $1.375 billion for physical barriers, the wall made of steel slats, and would cover 55 miles, which is just nine miles short of the president’s latest demand.

Democrats also agreed to drop their demand to restrict the number of people who can be detained by Immigration and Custom Enforcement at a time, following a letter sent by America’s sheriffs blasting the backroom deal that would dump thousands of criminal illegal aliens on the streets.

Negotiators agreed to fund a total of 40,520 detention beds for ICE, which would be just a 17 percent reduction from current levels, according to an aide close to the negotiations.

Democrats have been spinning the cave-in as a win, but one GOP source said that the $1.375 billion could be used for “new miles of border wall,” and added that the deal had enough flexibility to actually reach the president’s requested level of 52,000 beds for ICE detention, which is far above the negotiated level.

Details of the final deal may not be released until Wednesday at the latest, but lawmakers only have until Friday to get the deal done to prevent another shut down.

“The president told me, straight up, when I was with him… He told me more than once that if you can work out a legislative solution to this, do it. That’s what we’re trying to do,” Shelby said, who met with Trump last week. “Considering everything, this would be a good deal.”

“If the four of us couldn’t get it together, this Congress never could. And we have gotten it together,” Patrick Leahy said after the deal was announced.

Democrats moved quickly to sell the deal as a crackdown on the Trump administration’s immigration policies, but it is unlikely to appease the most progressive members of the left who have demanded ICE be completely defunded.

The potential package includes all seven remaining funding bills, including agencies still reeling from a 35-day shutdown, like the IRS, the FDA and TSA, but does not cover the ‘emergency’ package democrats wanted.

However, Fox News pundit Sean Hannity called the agreement a ‘garbage compromise.’

“By the way, on this new so-called compromise,” Hannity said. “I’m getting details. $1.3 billion? That’s not even a wall, a barrier… We will get back into this tomorrow. Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain—look at this crowd, look at the country.”

However, others think that 55 miles would be a good start, and point to other options the president has for completing the structure within the next two years.

“Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said during news show appearances Sunday that another shutdown remained on the table, although he also said Trump probably would be willing to compromise over how much of the $5.7 billion for wall construction he’s demanded would be allocated.”

“Someplace in the middle,” Mulvaney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

It seems obvious from the rising support, something will be done.