Trump ‘not happy’ with congressional border deal but says shutdown unlikely
(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s “not happy” with the deal announced by top congressional negotiators Monday night but also said he did not think there would be another partial government shutdown.
"I'm not happy about it. It's not doing the trick, but I'm adding things to it. I will add whatever I have to add. It's all going to happen. We are going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall that's not going to let criminals and traffickers," Trump said in his first reaction to the deal since learning about the full details of the agreement struck last night between top negotiators.
The president reiterated his determination to build his desired border barrier, saying that he'll get it done one way or another.
"We are supplementing things and moving things around, and we are doing things that are fantastic. Taking from far less important areas. The bottom line is, we are building a lot of wall. Right now we are building a lot of wall," Trump said.
The president said that he doesn’t think another shutdown will happen, but if it does, he said it “would be totally on the Democrats."
The top four negotiators charged with hammering out a deal to avert another partial government shutdown emerged from a closed-door meeting last night to announce that they had “reached an agreement in principle” as the president was in El Paso, Texas holding his first campaign rally of the year in a border city he has highlighted in his case for building a southern border wall.
Details of the agreement have not been released, but congressional sources told ABC News that it includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers at the southern border.
President Trump had requested more than $5 billion for his prized border wall.
The tentative agreement comes just four days ahead of another potential partial government shutdown.
The bipartisan deal was negotiated by members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, told reporters that the agreement will also address all seven spending bills that expired during the last partial government shutdown.
"Our staffs going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together and that's all we can tell you now without getting into numbers and everything," Shelby said. "But it’s something that is the product of all of our work and we believe if this becomes law, of course, it would open the government."
"Not a single one of us is going to get every single thing we want," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said. "Nobody does. But we’re going to get what is best for the United States."
"I think everyone will say: 'good work,'" Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, added.
Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the legislative text of the agreement will be done as soon as they can get it, hopefully by Wednesday.
"Some people may think it’s a great deal. Some may feel differently. But we did it together," she said.
Asked if the White House supports the deal, Shelby said: "We think so, we hope so."
The deal does not address disaster relief.
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