Congressional negotiators said they reached a tentative deal Monday to fund the government and avoid another shutdown.
As always, President Donald Trump will hold the fate of any potential border security agreement in his hands. The announcement came only minutes before the president took the rally stage in the Texas border city of El Paso to argue that "walls save lives" as he made the case for his proposed border barrier.
The top four congressional appropriators emerged from a meeting on border security funding Monday night and announced an agreement in principle to fund the government past a midnight Friday deadline. The group, including Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., did not immediately give details of the deal or say when they would release bill text.
A congressional source told CNBC it would put about $1.4 billion toward physical barriers, but not a wall. It would include about 55 new miles of bollard fencing. The agreement would also reduce the cap for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds by about 17 percent from the current 49,057 to 40,520, according to the source.
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Tuesday that "there is no wall money" in the tentative deal. It includes the same amount of money for physical barriers as a spending bill passed last year, he said.
A bill could get unveiled late Tuesday or early Wednesday. But that timing could change.
Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said "I look forward to reviewing the full text as soon as possible and hope the Senate can act on this legislation in short order." Making remarks shortly after McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the "tentative agreement represents a path forward for our country, away from another round of fraught negotiations up against a government funding cliff. Away from a dreaded government shutdown."
If passed, the measure would avoid reopening fresh wounds from a 35-day partial closure in December and January. About 800,000 federal workers were furloughed or worked without pay, missing two paychecks during the funding lapse.They face the prospect of more financial hardship if nine federal departments, or about a quarter of the government, close again.
The measure's passage depends on Trump's support. The president said during Monday's rally that he'd heard about a developing deal before he took the stage but did not hear the details. He contended that the agreement did not matter because "we're building the wall anyway."