U.S. lawmakers reach agreement 'in principle' to avert gov't shutdown
Updated 12:42, 12-Feb-2019
CGTN

U.S. Democratic and Republican negotiators have reached an agreement "in principle" on Monday to fund the government and avoid another partial shutdown.

Republican Senator Richard Shelby, one of the congressional negotiators working on border security funding, said late on Monday that an "agreement in principle" had been reached, according to Reuters.

"Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together,” Shelby said. He did not say whether President Donald Trump would get any money for the U.S.-Mexico border wall as he has asked.

Reporters follow Sen. Richard Shelby as he leaves the meeting with House and Senate negotiators in an effort to avert a second shutdown, February 11, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Reporters follow Sen. Richard Shelby as he leaves the meeting with House and Senate negotiators in an effort to avert a second shutdown, February 11, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Trump's December demand for 5.7 billion U.S. dollars to help construct the border wall triggered a 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last month without him getting wall funding.

A congressional aide, who asked not to be identified, said the outline of the deal included 1.37 billion U.S. dollars for erecting new fencing along the southern border.

That is about the same amount Congress allocated over the past couple years and far below what Trump has demanded.

The aide said none of the money would be for a "wall," which Trump has been touting since he launched his campaign for president in 2016.

Democrats say the wall would be costly and ineffective.

Trump was holding a rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, on Monday night to argue for the wall he says can protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a "tremendous onslaught" of migrant caravans.

US President Donald Trump makes his way to board Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the U.S., February 11, 2019. /VCG Photo 

US President Donald Trump makes his way to board Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the U.S., February 11, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Trump said he heard about the progress in the talks just before he took the stage in El Paso, but he did not discuss details.

"Just so you know - we're building the wall anyway," he said. "Maybe progress has been made - maybe not."

Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow congressional negotiators time to find a compromise on government funding for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, to avert another shutdown.

Democratic Representative Nita Lowey said on Monday night: "I hope by Wednesday we'll have a finished product." 

Lowey said she had been in touch with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who she said "has confidence I have made the right decision."

Read more:

U.S. lawmakers meet on border security in scramble to avert shutdown

Source(s): Reuters