- President Donald Trump’s most vocal allies are already railing against a tentative deal a bipartisan group of lawmakers struck on Monday night.
- The deal would reportedly allocate just $1.375 billion towards the border wall – a far cry from the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded.
- The deal would also require that the wall be built using only “existing technologies,” meaning no concrete wall or use of Trump’s border-wall prototypes would be allowed.
- “Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise – you will have to explain,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said Monday.
President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters on his hardline immigration stance are already railing against a tentative border deal that lawmakers reached late Monday night, as another potential government shutdown looms just days away.
A group of 17 lawmakers from the House and Senate struck a tentative agreement to provide $1.375 billion for 55 miles of steel bollard-style fencing at the US-Mexico border, multiple outlets reported. It would also fund only 40,520 detention beds maintained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement – a 17% drop from the amount currently filled.
But the wall funding was a far cry from the $5.7 billion that Trump had demanded, and the agreement stipulated that only “existing technologies” be used for the barrier – meaning no use of concrete or Trump’s border-wall prototypes will be permitted, according to Bloomberg News reporter Sahil Kapur.
“1.3 billion? That’s not a – not even a wall. A barrier?” Fox News host Sean Hannity, one of Trump’s top confidants, said on his show Monday night.
He continued: “Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise – you will have to explain. Look at this crowd, look at the country, look at CBS News. Even they say 72% of the American people want the heroin to stop, the cartels to stop, the gang members to stop, and those that wish us ill.”
‘Hardly a serious attempt’
- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
If the deal falls apart, or it Trump chooses not to approve it by Friday night, the government will run out of funding and trigger another shutdown just three weeks after the longest government shutdown in US history.
But that hasn’t deterred some Republican lawmakers, who blasted the deal on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, slammed the tentative agreement as a “bipartisan failure.”
In a statement Tuesday morning, Biggs urged Trump instead to use executive powers to build the wall, and went after the committee for slightly lowering restrictions on ICE detention beds, arguing that the measure would prevent agents from deporting “criminally violent illegal aliens.”
Pathetic. Lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' in border security talks, with $1.3B for barrierhttps://t.co/prP9bLB68l
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 12, 2019
“The American people should be outraged when they learn about the border security provisions of this deal,” he said. “Instead of listening to Border Patrol experts, conferees decided to chart their own path towards a political comfortable solution.”
He wasn’t the only Republican lawmaker to speak out against the agreement. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, another longtime Trump ally, tweeted Monday night that the agreement was “hardly a serious attempt to secure our border or stop the flow of illegal immigration.”
“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,” Meadows added. “At this point it’s clear: POTUS should take executive action.”
Trump said he’ll ‘build the wall anyway’
- Getty Images/David McNew
Trump, who spoke at a rally in El Paso, Texas just minutes after the tentative agreement was struck, has stayed mum as of Tuesday morning on whether he would sign off on such a deal.
He still has not ruled out declaring a national emergency to secure the funds without requiring congressional approval, though the move is unpopular among some Republicans.
During his speech, he dropped a hint that he intended to plow ahead with the wall funding regardless of the agreement Congress reached.
“Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway,” Trump said. “We’re setting the table, we’re doing whatever we have to do. The wall’s being built.”
- Read more:
- Here’s what would happen if Trump declared a national emergency to build his border wall
- Steve Bannon, Curt Schilling, and other Trump diehards are trying to make the viral GoFundMe campaign to privately fund the border wall a reality
- A simple technology could secure the US-Mexico border for a fraction of the cost of a wall – but no one’s talking about it
- Trump says he doubts Congress can strike a deal on the border wall and says another government shutdown is ‘certainly an option’