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  • U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) talk with House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).

    U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) talk with House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 February 2019

The deal will not allow President Trump to get away with the six billion + he originally requested for his reckless and inhumane border wall, but it will make some concessions to Republicans.

The U.S. Congress announced on Monday a ‘tentative’ deal to avert President Donald Trump’s new dangerous government shutdown, scheduled for Friday, and to avoid leaving thousands of public workers once again without pay.

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The deal will not allow President Trump to get away with the six billion + he originally requested for his reckless and inhumane border wall, but it will make some concessions to Republicans hoping to strengthen immigration controls.

Lawmakers returned to a point in the talks prior to the Democrats demand for limiting immigrant detentions, and effectively dropped some of them in order to compromise with Republicans.

“What brought us back together I thought, tonight, was we didn’t want that to happen,” said senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) who is the Republican leading the talks.

Republicans have seen some blow back from the Trump-induced government shutdown which already cost the United States US$3B with 800,000 federal employees working 35 days without pay.

Lawmakers are calling it “an agreement in principle,” which includes US$1.375 billion for a type of fencing which is similar to Trump’s desired steel fence, spanning a total of approximately 55 miles—nine miles shy of the President’s request— along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, it is not clear if these resources will be used to expand the border fencing or to fortify what already exists.

For their part, Democrats sacrificed their petition to restrict the number of migrants who can be detained by the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). It would also appear to some Republicans that the funding will suffice to reach the president’s requested 52,000 beds, more than the number negotiated during the talks, according to Politico.

In context, President Trump threw the federal government—and the lives of thousands of workers and provision of services—into disarray over his unjustified request for a border wall expanding 200 miles at a cost of approximately US$6B.

He received only a portion of that after months of wrestling with Democrats and putting the lives of federal workers in suspense.


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