President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says Warren should focus ‘more on her heritage’ than investigating his businesses Trump: People saying wall hasn’t made difference in El Paso are ‘full of crap’ GOP promotes Trump line mirroring Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign slogan MORE on Tuesday appeared to express openness to a border security deal reached by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, suggesting that its funds could be combined with others to build his desired wall along the southern border.
“Looking over all aspects knowing that this will be hooked up with lots of money from other sources,” Trump tweeted. “Will be getting almost $23 BILLION for Border Security. Regardless of Wall money, it is being built as we speak!”
….Will be getting almost $23 BILLION for Border Security. Regardless of Wall money, it is being built as we speak!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2019
Trump’s latest comments on the arrangement came after he and Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyLawmakers reach agreement ‘in principle’ to avert shutdown Scrambling to avoid a shutdown Negotiators aiming to reach deal on Monday night to avert shutdown MORE (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, reviewed the particulars of the deal.
The proposal would provide $1.375 billion in funding for roughly 55 miles of new barriers along the southern border, well short of the $5.7 billion Trump demanded late last year when he triggered a partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days.
Shelby told reporters that he explained to the president that the agreement contained nearly $23 billion in total funding. The senator added that he did not ask Trump if he would sign the bill, calling the question “premature.”
“The president’s tone and conversation was very good. Concerned that he didn’t get everything he wanted, and I told him I shared that. We all do. But realizing after I talked with him … that he’s getting a good downpayment,” Shelby told reporters about Trump’s reaction to the agreement.
Shelby added that he told Trump that Republicans “had a good reception in the caucus today about this and we know it’s multiyear, we know it’s going to cost a lot of money but it’s a good start.”
A number of conservatives initially panned the deal, arguing it failed to properly address border security funding. Republicans have urged the president to back the agreement, and some of his more conservative allies, including Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsScrambling to avoid a shutdown Border talks stall as another shutdown looms Meadows: I expect Trump ‘to take some kind of executive action’ if he doesn’t get border wall funding MORE (R-N.C.), have suggested they expect him to sign the legislation to avert another government shutdown.
Funding for a number of government agencies expires on Friday.
Trump’s tweet on Tuesday evening suggests the president is softening his stance toward the congressional proposal.
At a Cabinet meeting hours earlier, Trump voiced disappointment with the deal, telling reporters that he was “not happy about it.”
“I’m adding things to it, and when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall,” the president added.
A night earlier in El Paso, Texas, Trump told supporters that his administration would build the wall regardless of whether Congress ultimately approves funding for the structure.
The president has floated declaring a national emergency, which would likely draw legal challenges, and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyLawmakers reach agreement ‘in principle’ to avert shutdown The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Negotiators look to revive stalled border talks The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine – Next 24 hours critical for stalled funding talks MORE has suggested the administration could reallocate funding designated for other areas.