The conference committee tasked with addressing border security before government funding runs dry reached an agreement late Monday night. President Trump said he was unhappy with the proposal on Tuesday. Trump’s informal advisors and confidants outside the White House are already dismissing the proposal as insufficient. Trump often seeks their advice, which played a central…
- The conference committee tasked with addressing border security before government funding runs dry reached an agreement late Monday night.
- President Trump said he was unhappy with the proposal on Tuesday.
- Trump’s informal advisors and confidants outside the White House are already dismissing the proposal as insufficient.
- Trump often seeks their advice, which played a central role in the historic partial government shutdown that ended in January.
President Donald Trump is already panning the border security deal reached by the bicameral, bipartisan conference committee on Tuesday, which could complicate the plan to avoid another government shutdown.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Tuesday morning it is still too early for Trump to know whether or not he would be willing to support the conference committee proposal, which includes $1.4 billion for additional physical barriers along the United States-Mexico border. The proposed barrier funding in the deal is afar cry from the $5.7 billionthe White House has demanded.
Tuesday afternoon, Trump followed suit, appearing to have already soured on the deal.
“I can’t say I’m happy,” Trump said. “I can’t say I’m thrilled.”
But Trump dismissed the notion that another shutdown is on the horizon and that if such a thing were to occur it would be Democrats’ fault, not his.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown,” he said. “If you did have it it’s the Democrats fault.”
Conservatives push back on the deal
Some of Trump’s close allies are already dismissing the plan, urging him to chart another course to build his long-desired border wall.
While Trump was delivering a campaign-style speech in El Paso, Texas Monday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity cut into the rally’s live footage during his self-titled show to blast the deal as insufficient.
“By the way, on this new so-called compromise,” he said. “I’m getting details. $1.3 billion? That’s not even a wall, a barrier… Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain—look at this crowd, look at the country.”
Hannityhas been informally advising Trumpfor years, often talking to the president on the phone multiple times per week.
And Fox News’ flagship host has gotten through to Trump as of late,pushing himto stay firm during the shutdown that dragged on for more than a month.
During the partial government shutdown that lasteda record 35 days last month, Trump exercised similar tactics to those used by his allies in the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus by refusing to get on board with any funding proposals until the shutdown reached a breaking point. Trump dug in after he hadinitially signaled supportfor a continuing resolution that would have averted the entire shutdown fiasco.
The president eventually agreed to a short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution, which is slated to expire this Friday.
House Freedom Caucus chairman and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, another close confidant of Trump, dismissed the conference committee proposal as unserious and insufficient.
“This conference agreement is hardly a serious attempt to secure our border or stop the flow of illegal immigration,” Meadowswrote on TwitterMonday night. “It kicks the can down the road yet again, failing to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs. Congress is not doing its job.”
“Democrats applaud sending $1.8 billion to Iran under Obama but can’t even find that much to secure America’s border. If this is the best they can do, it’s obvious they have no interest in serious border security,” Meadowsadded. “At this point it’s clear: POTUS should take executive action.”
Meadowsspeaks with Trump on a regular basisand reportedly played a pivotal role in the hard line the White House drew during the shutdown.
Still, other lawmakers are optimistic about the border security proposal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the conference committee’s work during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.
“I know I speak for members on both sides of the aisle when I say that we are grateful to our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for their leadership and are eager to see them complete this work,” he said. “As we speak, our colleagues are working hard to produce full legislative text. I look forward to reviewing the full text as soon as possible and hope the Senate can act on this legislation in short order.”