Spending deal includes $1.375 billion for border barriers


Lawmakers have agreed to include $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border in a forthcoming government funding deal, three congressional sources confirmed.

The agreement, the text of which has not been released yet, would effectively provide President Trump the same level of funding for the border wall as the fiscal 2019 bills.

But it would also be significantly less than the $5 billion requested for new border barrier spending in Trump's budget. The Senate bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) included $5 billion for new border barrier spending, while the House bill included no new money for border barriers.

The president had also requested an additional $3.6 billion to backfill money shifted from military construction to the border wall during the fiscal 2019 bills.

A Democratic aide said the bill also includes a restriction that limits Trump to using the money within the Rio Grande Valley sector, similar to the fiscal 2019 funding deal.

Two sources confirmed that the spending deal maintains Trump's ability to transfer additional money to the border wall. Democrats had wanted to add new restrictions into the bill to limit the president's authority, but Republicans warned they viewed that as a "poison pill" that would sink the overall chances for a deal.

The details of the spending deal come after the top four appropriators reached a deal in principle last week, with staffers working over the weekend to hammer out the details and draft the bills.

The bills are expected to be introduced later Monday and are expected to be broken into two packages.

Lawmakers have to fund the government by the end of Dec. 20 to prevent a shutdown that would start on Dec. 21.

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