Trump blasted the deal Tuesday but also said he does not expect another government shutdown. He’ll have to sign off on the deal by Friday to avoid one.
After months of turmoil that included the longest government shutdown in American history, Congress has reached a government funding deal that would give President Trump even less money for a wall than what Democrats had originally offered him.
The bill is on track to pass through Congress before another partial shutdown would be triggered at end-of-day Friday. Trump said Tuesday he is “extremely unhappy” with the deal, but stopped short of saying he would veto it.
In December Trump demanded $5.7 billion for 200 miles of border barriers, and triggered a shutdown when Congress agreed to only $1.6 billion for 65 miles of barriers. The new deal contains less than what was on the table originally — $1.375 billion for 55 miles of barriers along the Rio Grande.
“So we shut down the government for 35 days, we put America through this crisis, we jeopardized our economy, and for what?” said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.
The barriers come with certain restrictions and cannot be built with concrete. This has Democrats referring to it as “fencing” while Republicans tend to use more robust words.
“I guess we’re going to have an argument now about what’s a wall,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Ahead of a cabinet meeting at the White House Trump said he does not expect to see another shutdown. “I’m not happy about [the deal]” he said. “It’s not enough, it’s not doing the trick. But I’ll add some to it.” In practice, Trump will have no opportunity to add anything. Congress negotiated the deal without Trump and, if passed, his only choices will be signing the bill or vetoing it and triggering yet another shutdown.