WASHINGTON — Prospects for avoiding another partial government shutdown seem significantly brighter following news reports Monday evening that said lawmakers had reached a prospective deal on border security.
Just 24 hours earlier, negotiations undertaken by members of a bipartisan-bicameral conference committee had stalled.
Under the prospective agreement, Republicans would secure $1.3 billion for a physical barrier or wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The money would be used to build about 55 miles of barricades in the Rio Grande Valley. In return, Democrats would obtain an agreement to limit the number of beds for detainees held at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities to just over 40,000.
The deal has yet to be approved by President Donald Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Trump has said that a wall must be a part of any border security agreement but it is unclear if $1.3 billion will suffice. The administration previously requested $5.7 billion for the wall. Moreover, Trump has said that, if necessary, he will declare a national emergency to get the wall built.
Pelosi has ruled out the inclusion of wall money in any legislation; however, she also has said she will support any agreement reached by the conference committee that is bipartisan in nature.
The committee was established last month as part of an agreement to end the 35-day shutdown — the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Failure to reach an agreement prior to midnight on Saturday means funding for nine executive departments will again expire.