Lawmakers Reach Border Deal 'In Principle,' Includes 55 Miles of Physical Barriers


Congressional negotiators reached an “agreement in principle” on Monday night, addressing President Donald Trump’s request for border wall funding, which lawmakers anticipate would avert another partial government shutdown.

Trump said Tuesday that he is “not happy” with the deal, but does not anticipate a shutdown.

Last month, the president signed legislation to reopen the government until Feb. 15, while a bi-partisan group of legislators from the House and the Senate tried to hammer out an agreement on border barrier funding.

“We reached an agreement in principle between us on all the homeland security and the other six bills,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama a lead Republican negotiator said on Monday, Politico reported. “The White House has been consulted all along.”

The tentative deal includes $1.375 billion to construct an additional 55 miles for physical barriers, in the form of “steel slats,” which Trump has requested.

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The Democrats also agreed to drop their demand to put a cap on the number of detention beds available to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to 16,500.

According to The Hill, the deal includes 40,250 ICE detention beds, but also provides enough flexibility in the funding to allow the Trump administration to reach the 52,000 beds it has requested.

Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis described that concession by the Democrats as a “big win for Trump.”

He explained the agreement gives the presidents the authority to transfer $750 million to hold up to as many as 58,500 beds.

Do you think the agreement reached is acceptable?

Trump told attendees at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night that he could not accept the Democrats’ position to greatly curtail the number of ICE detention beds, because it would mean releasing violent criminals into the general population.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters he is “not happy” with the tentative congressional deal concerning the border.

Asked if he would sign it, he replied, “I have to study. I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.”

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The president reiterated, “We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall. It’s not going to let criminals, and traffickers and drug dealers, and drugs into our country.”

“Am I happy at first glance?” Trump said. “The answer is no. I’m not happy. But am I happy with where we’re going? I’m thrilled. … The bottom line is we’re building a lot of wall. Right now, we’re building a lot of wall.”

Trump told reporters that he does not anticipate another government shutdown, “but if you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”

“I accepted the first one, and I’m proud of what we accomplished,” he continued, “because people learned during that shutdown all about the problems coming in from the southern border.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith