Guillermo Arias | AFP | Getty Images
A construction crew works on replacing the US-Mexico border fence as seen from Tijuana, in Baja California state, Mexico, on January 9, 2019.
Congressional negotiators said they reached a tentative deal Monday to fund the government and avoid another shutdown.
As always, President Donald Trump will hold the fate of any potential border security agreement in his hands. The announcement came only minutes before the president was set to make his case for his proposed border wall in El Paso on the western edge of Texas.
The top four congressional appropriators emerged from a meeting on border security funding Monday night and announced an agreement in principle to fund the government past a midnight Friday deadline. The group, including Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., did not immediately give details of the deal or say when they would release bill text.
If passed, the measure would avoid reopening fresh wounds from a 35-day partial closure in December and January. About 800,000 federal workers were furloughed or worked without pay, missing two paychecks during the funding lapse.
They face the prospect of more financial hardship if nine federal departments, or about a quarter of the government, close again.
The measure’s passage depends on Trump’s support. Funding lapsed in December after the president threatened to veto any plan that did not include $5.7 billion to build his proposed border wall — and deterred GOP lawmakers from voting to keep the government open.
In recent days, the president has appeared more willing to accept a deal that does not include that full sum.