Lawmakers Reach Agreement ‘In Principle’ to Avert Shutdown

Lawmakers said on Monday night that they had reached an agreement “in principle” to avoid a second partial government shutdown set to begin on Saturday.

Negotiators refused to discuss the particulars of the deal with staff expected to work frantically to release the legislation as early as Tuesday.

A congressional source told The Hill that the bill will include $1.375 billion for physical barriers, the same amount included in the 2018 fiscal year bill. The tentative agreement, according to the source, also specifically prohibits the use of a concrete wall. But, senior Congressional aides separately noted that it will fund approximately 55 new miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

If negotiators are able to hold an agreement together, it would mark a dramatic U-turn from earlier Monday when both sides were still divided on two key issues: funding for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border and a snag on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds.

Lawmakers refused to discuss how they resolved the ICE fight, after Democrats proposed a cap on the number of ICE detention beds, arguing it would force the Trump administration to focus on “serious criminals,” and that numbers were in line with those from the Obama administration.

Congress has until Saturday to get the seven remaining fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills to Trump’s desk to fund roughly 25 percent of the federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security.