BREAKING: Congress Reaches Agreement to Avert Shutdown; Here’s What We Know [UPDATE]

It seemed highly likely that the federal government was going to shut down once again on February 15, following the longest shutdown in American history.

Of course, the 35-day work stoppage originally occurred because Democrats didn’t want to give President Trump money for the border wall.

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However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel…

Lawmakers have apparently reached an agreement to avoid another Government shutdown, but the details of the wall funding are still fuzzy.

Here we go…

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From Bloomberg:

Leaders of both parties in the House and Senate resolved a last-minute snag on the number of immigration detention beds during a series of meeting Monday afternoon and evening before signing off on the agreement.

Yet President Donald Trump remains a wild card. The White House had given signals that he would go along with the lower spending levels. But the president has in the past reversed course without warning, as he did last December in blowing up a previous spending accord and triggering a 35-day shutdown.

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The Associated Press confirmed the other day that construction is about to start on a portion of the wall in Texas.

From AP News:

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. government is preparing to begin construction of more border walls and fencing in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, likely on federally owned land set aside as wildlife refuge property.

Heavy construction equipment was expected to arrive starting Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. A photo posted by the nonprofit National Butterfly Center shows an excavator parked next to its property.


According to designs it released in September , CBP intends to build 25 miles (40 kilometers) of concrete walls to the height of the existing flood-control levee in Hidalgo County next to the Rio Grande, the river that forms the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. On top of the concrete walls, CBP will install 18-foot (5.5-meter) steel posts and clear a 150-foot (45-meter) enforcement zone in front.

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One way or the other the wall was going to be built. Trump recently implied he’d go around Congress if necessary

From the NY Times:

In an interview in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump called the talks “a waste of time” and indicated he will most likely take action on his own when they officially end in two weeks. At the same time, he expressed optimism about reaching a trade deal with China and denied being at odds with his intelligence chiefs.

“I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what’s she doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely,” Mr. Trump said. While he would not directly say that he plans to declare a national emergency to build the wall, he added: “I’ve set the table. I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.”

Trump: “I’ve actually always gotten along with [Pelosi], but now I don’t think I will any more,” Mr. Trump said. “I think she’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country. If she doesn’t approve the wall, the rest of it’s just a waste of money and time and energy because it’s desperately needed.”

Mr. Trump has been considering an emergency declaration to spend money on a wall even without congressional approval, an action that would most likely draw a court challenge, and he said Ms. Pelosi would not be able to stop him. “I’ll continue to build the wall, and we’ll get the wall finished,” he said. “Now whether or not I declare a national emergency — that you’ll see.”

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H/T: Right Scoop

***UPDATE*** 10:44PM

Here are tthe details of the deal.

Will Trump sign?