WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he still needs to study a deal aimed at beefing up border security and staving off a partial government shutdown, but that he is “not happy” with the proposal.
“It’s not doing the trick,” Trump said at the top of a cabinet meeting, noting that he ultimately hopes to add items to it.
“It’s always nice to negotiate a little bit,” he explained.
Under the prospective agreement, announced Monday night, Republicans would secure $1.3 billion for a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, approximately 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 facilities to just over 40,000.
While Trump appeared less than enthused, he gave some indications that he could ultimately sign the proposal.
When asked if he believed the government would shut down again at the end of the week, Trump said it was unlikely — before adding that if it did, it would be the Democrats’ fault.
He also said that regardless of the deal, his proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico would be built through other sources of funding.
“We’re supplementing things and moving things around and we’re doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less, really from far less, important areas,” Trump said.
The president appeared in El Paso, Texas Monday night, taking the stage right after the compromise deal was announced.
Trump told supporters that he was too busy to read it before the rally, but used his first campaign appearance of 2019 to push for the wall.
“The wall’s being built,” Trump said. “It’ll continue. It’s going at a rapid pace.”
Trump also pointed to fencing either being fixed or applying new barriers, to claim that the wall is already partially done.
When Trump was met with familiar “Build the Wall” chants, he replied “You really mean ‘finish that wall.”
“Because we’ve built a lot of it. It’s ‘finish that wall,” he said.
So far, Congress has not approved any wall proposal put forward by the president.