By: Kathryn Watson | CBS News
February 12, 2019
President Trump tweeted that he had reviewed a border funding agreement reached by Republicans and Democrats in Congress to avert another shutdown. An official familiar with the matter told CBS News earlier on Tuesday he is "very likely" to sign the deal if it reaches his desk.
"Was just presented the concept and parameters of the Border Security Deal by hard working Senator Richard Shelby. Looking over all aspects knowing that this will be hooked up with lots of money from other sources...." Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet, adding in another tweet: "...Will be getting almost $23 BILLION for Border Security. Regardless of Wall money, it is being built as we speak!"
The agreement announced Monday night includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers, far less than the $5.7 billion for a border wall which Mr. Trump had requested.
At a meeting with his Cabinet on Tuesday, Mr. Trump expressed his displeasure with the agreement brokered by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the House and Senate.
"I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm thrilled," the president told reporters earlier Tuesday in a Cabinet meeting.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate is taking up the deal for a vote, even if he doesn't receive a promise from the president that he'll sign it. That's quite a change from McConnell's approach to resolving the last government shutdown, when McConnell held off on legislation until he knew the president would sign it.
Top lawmakers announced Monday night they have an agreement in principle over border funding, but those details have yet to be publicly released. The proposal includes $1.375 million for 55 miles of fencing along the southern border. Mr. Trump also cast doubt on a second shutdown Tuesday. "I don't think you're going to see a shutdown. If you did have it it's the Democrats fault," he said.
White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday morning that the White House needs to see exactly what is in the agreement before commenting further. The White House has long been quiet on exactly what figure the president would accept for a border wall or barrier below the $5.7 billion the president has demanded. At a rally in El Paso Monday night, the president said he chose to head to his rally rather than listen to details of a border proposal.
"We're not going to get into a conversation about what could be in this document," Gidley said Tuesday morning. "We want to focus on what's actually in the document. Until we see that, it's gonna be very difficult to have a conversation about what we will or won't accept. I'm about to walk into the chief of staff's office right now and go over some of the pieces that have come through already. And once we have more we'll let you know but until then, I've got nothing else on the deal."
But Gidley doesn't appear to be the only one who lacks details. GOP Rep. Tom Graves, a member of the conference committee, tweeted Tuesday morning, "I haven't signed off on the reported "deal" nor have I seen it. Based on the reports, I have concerns. Lots of questions too."
In recent days and weeks, the president hasn't ruled out the possibility of a national emergency if he doesn't get sufficient funding for his border wall.
Trump ally GOP Rep. Mark Meadows suggested the president take executive action Tuesday.
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.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 12, 2019
At this point it’s clear: POTUS should take executive action.
Mr. Trump didn't rule out the possibility of a national emergency Tuesday.
"I'm considering everything," the president told reporters.