WASHINGTON – Speaking from a rally in El Paso, Texas, President Trump seemed to downplay reports of progress being made in a budget deal that could avert another government shutdown.
“Just now I’m hearing reports that progress is being made in negotiations,” he said. “Just now, when I’m here in El Paso talking to you. We’ll see. Maybe progress is being made, maybe not … who knows? We’ll see. But we’re going to build the wall anyway.”
The four lead bipartisan negotiators, emerging from talks Monday night, declined to get into details on how any agreement was struck, but when asked whether it included barrier funding and a resolution to the detention bed issue, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said: “We got an agreement on all of it.”
Reports suggest the wall funding was $1.3 billion, far short of the amount Trump insisted upon — $5.7 billion.
Shelby’s comments follow those from a Democratic aide involved in the border-security funding talks who said earlier Monday negotiators are “very, very close” to an agreement and they are now checking to see if the emerging proposal would get the votes it needs to pass the House.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democratic negotiator, said the goal for the four lead negotiators was to reach a deal Monday night, then proceed to drafting the final agreement on Tuesday.
“I think we both agree if we can wrap this up tonight, do it tonight, our goal will be to do it tomorrow,” said Leahy, of Vermont, regarding his work with Shelby.