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12 Feb, 2019 07:05

Congress reaches last-minute deal to avoid another government shutdown… ‘in principle’

Congress reaches last-minute deal to avoid another government shutdown… ‘in principle’

US lawmakers say they have averted another partial government shutdown, reaching enough of a deal on border security to keep the government open through September 30, though the particulars remain up in the air.

“We reached an agreement in principle,” Sen. Richard Shelby told reporters on Monday evening, acknowledging that “our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together.”

Also on rt.com Trump says Democrats seek new shutdown as distraction from scandals, as border talks stall

It’s still not clear whether the deal would win President Donald Trump’s signature – it does not include the $5.7 billion in border wall funding he has been demanding since before the beginning of the last shutdown.

While Trump has proven he’s willing to shut down the government to get wall funding, he has also shown that he’s not willing to keep it closed too long – meaning it may not work as a negotiation tactic the next time he hopes to extract concessions from the Democrats.

The agreed-upon deal to fund border security does allow for $1.37 billion to put up new fencing along the southern border, but this is no more than was allotted in previous years and represents a fraction of the money Trump wants. Democrats reportedly conceded a desired cap on the number of immigrant detention beds as part of the negotiations – a demand that had particularly irked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called it a “poison-pill demand at the 11th hour.”

“I hope by Wednesday we’ll have a finished product,” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) told reporters regarding the bill to fund the government through September, adding that she had been in communication with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and had her “confidence.”

Funding is due to expire once again for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and several other agencies on Friday, which would trigger another partial government shutdown if this funding bill is not passed.

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