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Immigration

Trump Signals Displeasure with Border-Security Compromise

President Trump during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Trump on Tuesday said he was “extremely unhappy” with a border-security compromise reached by lawmakers on Monday night, but would not commit to vetoing the proposal if it passes Congress.

Lawmakers on Monday reached a tentative deal to prevent another partial government shutdown that would include $1.375 billion to construct new fencing on the southern border, well below the $5.7 billion the president wants for a concrete wall. The deadline for Congress to approve a deal and Trump to sign it is Friday.

“I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us,” Trump said Tuesday, while stopping short of a threat to veto the compromise if it reaches his desk. “I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown. If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, tried to paint the compromise as a win for Republicans, arguing that it represented a Democratic capitulation to Trump’s demand for border-wall funding.

“You have to remember where [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi was — she who said no money for a wall,” McCarthy said on CNBC. “The Democrats have now agreed to more than 55 miles of new barrier being built.”

McCarthy also said that Democrats had softened their demands on funding for beds at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers.

“The Democrats changed course when they said, ‘There would be no detention beds,” the California Republican said. “They backed away on that. Now we are able to have those detention beds again. It’s not as high a number as we would have liked.”

Pelosi’s office immediately challenged McCarthy’s narrative, saying her party has not caved to Trump’s hard-line immigration demands.

“There is no wall money in this agreement,” the speaker’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill told CNBC. “This agreement has the same amount of funding for physical barriers that last year’s omnibus had.”

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