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Congressional negotiators come to tentative agreement on government spending, border wall funding

Posted at 8:47 PM, Feb 11, 2019

Congressional negotiators on Capitol Hill told CNN on Monday that a tentative agreement has been reached between the two parties on government spending and funding for border security, in attempt to avoid a possible government shutdown this weekend.

Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said that he believes the bipartisan agreement will have the support of the White House. CNN reporter Phil Mattinglys said that the two sides agreed to $1.375 billion for physical barriers, a figure far below the $5.6 billion requested by the White house. The funding would allow for 55 miles of new barriers to be erected.

Shelby said that the two sides were able to agree on a series of seven appropriation bills. He said legislation on disaster funding will come separately.

It remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will sign off on the deal. In December, the US Senate unanimously passed a spending bill to keep the government open. After Trump originally said he would sign the spending bill, he reneged, triggering a 35-day government shutdown.

A 21-day spending bill was approved in late January, and would expire at the end of the day Friday. The bill was signed to give members of Congress time to negotiate a border security funding package.

During the shutdown, Trump requested more than $5 billion of funding for a portion of a border wall to stretch across the United States' border with Mexico. Democratic Party leaders said they were opposed to funding a border wall, instead insisting on other ways of securing the border, such as drones and cameras.

It was not until Day 35 of last month's shutdown before Trump relented and agreed to reopen the government without any border wall funding, only with the promise that members of Congress would discuss funding border security. On the same day, air traffic was heavily affected in parts of the US as some air traffic controllers and employees of the TSA were called off as they were working without pay.