President Donald Trump said he wasn’t happy with a possible deal to avert another possible government shutdown Tuesday — but seemed optimistic something will be worked out.
The earlier partial government shutdown lasted a record length of time when it finally ended on January 25.
But the short-term spending bill that reopened the government gave congressional negotiators only three weeks to resolve the underlining disputes on border security funding.
Trump said he was unhappy with the tentative plan they had.
“Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. His remarks were broadcast live earlier today.
“The answer is no — I’m not. I’m not happy. But am I happy with where we’re going? I’m thrilled … We’re supplementing things and moving things around.”
“I don’t think you’ll see a shutdown,” the president later added. “If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault … This one would be totally on the Democrats.”
He also said, “The wall is getting built regardless.”
Congressional negotiators have been meeting for the past couple of weeks to avert the next possible government shutdown. They came to a tentative deal late Monday that includes $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers.
Congress has to pass a proposal to fund the government and the president needs to sign it before the deadline on Friday.
Trump first heard that a possible deal was reached right before his rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night. He has demanded much more money — $5.7 billion — for the construction of a southern border wall.
The proposal would also use those funds for vertical steel slats called bollards instead of a solid concrete wall.
Let’s stop calling a $1.37 billion proposal “wall funding.” It’s more like “stall funding”…kicking everything into 2020 cycle.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 12, 2019
Trump dedicated a good portion of his speech to the issue during his Monday night rally in El Paso.
He has argued consistently that the wall is critical to deterring illegal drugs and criminal gangs during press conferences throughout the shutdown as well.
He also dedicated his first Oval Office address to the issue.
Trump said late last year that he would not sign any more spending bills that did not include border wall funding.
Democratic leaders opposed providing any funding for the wall — which led both sides to a partial government shutdown on December 22. But the president eventually backed away from his veto threat by signing the short-term bill on January 25.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led the opposition to the president throughout the earlier government shutdown.
They have reaffirmed their opposition to a border wall as proposed by Trump many times since the government reopened.
And check out this portion of Trump’s remarks at last night’s rally in Texas: