WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is still not committed to signing legislation aimed at bolstering border security and thwarting a new partial government shutdown, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday.
“We want to see what the final piece of legislation looks like,” Sanders told reporters outside the West Wing. “It’s hard to say definitively whether or not the president is going to sign it until we know everything that’s in it.”
The agreement was reached on Monday night and has yet to be put in writing.
Under the deal, 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 about 45,000.
Trump has previously called for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Acknowledging that the sum was less than he has previously demanded, Trump said Tuesday that he wasn’t “happy” with the proposal, but that he believes his administration will be able to find other funding sources for the barrier.
The president also said that he does not expect the government to partially shut down once funding runs out on Friday.
Sanders said Wednesday that the president does not want to see a shutdown.
The deal, which was struck between a bipartisan, bicameral committee, found approval from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican lawmakers, but has proved unpopular among conservative media figures with the president’s ear.
Sanders brushed off criticism that the president isn’t getting enough from the deal, telling reporters that “there are some positive pieces of it.”
The press secretary cast the proposed barrier funds as a concession from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has previously said that Democrats will sign off on almost no funding for a wall.
Sanders said that regardless of the president’s next step, he expects that he will win on the wall issue.
In recent days, the White House’s messaging on the wall has shifted, with the president pointing to previously approved measures to build new and repair existing fencing.
Congress, however, has not backed any wall funding for which the president has directly asked.