Democrats and Republicans in Congress reached an “agreement in principle” on President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall funding Monday night, as the government is days away from a potential shutdown. However, Republicans seem divided on the issue.
The agreement reportedly includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers, which would be bollard, or basically a concrete-filled barrier that protect office buildings and shopping malls across the U.S. There would also be nearly a 17 percent drop in ICE beds, bringing the number to 40,520 overall, over 8,000 beds, in which Republicans have pushed back against, saying more criminals will be on the streets if they are not in ICE custody.
Republican lawmakers, such as Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “This is not a CR, this is a funding for the seven bills… We hope [the President will] sign it. He talked to me about it, gave us some latitude. I think we’re, overall, we’ve got a pretty good deal considering who we’re dealing with,” in the U.S. Capitol Tuesday.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham had a different message, telling TheDCNF, it is likely the president will have to declare a national emergency, as he believes lawmakers will not be able to reach an agreement.
“My whole construct was: open up the government and see if you can find a compromise in three weeks; if you don’t, declare an emergency. Do it on your own. It’s like that’s probably where we’re headed,” Graham told TheDCNF Tuesday morning.
When asked about the Report of capping ICE bed space for violent criminal aliens, Graham said it was a non-starter for him.
“That would be a non-starter for me. I don’t see how you get virtually the same amount of wall money you had and reduce bed space. I don’t see how that’s a good deal,” Graham said to TheDCNF.
Graham was also asked if he believed this preliminary plan would have strong GOP Senate appeal and did not sound optimistic.
“Well I would be shocked if it did if there is a reduction in the detention bed space,” Graham responded.
However, Democrats seem to believe the agreement in principle is fair and that both parties should agree to it.
“For far too long, the Trump administration has been tearing communities apart with its cruel immigration policies. A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country,” Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard told TheDCNF.
Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy echoed a very similar message, saying “I think the House will vote first on the bill. Will everyone vote for it? No! Will a majority of people vote for it? I think they will,” in response to a question from TheDCNF.
The government is set to shutdown on Feb. 15, giving Congress just four days to put forward legislation in which Trump would sign to keep a number of government agencies open
“Republicans in Congress have zero excuses if this sham makes it to Trump’s desk. No one who supports real border security can be for it. Republican negotiators didn’t even get Democrats to support what they have voted for in the past!,” a senior a GOP aide told TheDCNF after the news broke Monday night.
Republican lawmakers will now have to put together a bill that a number of Democrats will also support, or else Trump’s only options would be lowering his requested $5.7 billion for border security or declaring a national emergency.
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