Border Deal May Be Released Thursday as Work Goes On, Lowey Says

February 13, 2019, 6:44 PM UTC
U.S. Army Troops Continue To Add Concertina Wire To Border Wall In Arizona
Concertina wire added earlier this month by U.S. Army troops is seen covering the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Nogales, Arizona. NurPhoto NurPhoto via Getty Images
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The text of a U.S. border deal may not be released until Thursday as top negotiators continue to iron out details, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey said.

“There’s a long list of all kinds of things in there,” Lowey said about the deal during an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television. “Anything could stop the deal at this late stage.”

The New York Democrat warned Republicans and Democrats against subverting the agreement. While she “wouldn’t dare predict” whether President Donald Trump will support the measure and avoid another partial government shutdown after funding expires on Friday night, she said she is hopeful he will.

The tentative accord reached Monday night provides $1.375 billion for 55 new miles of fencing in Texas — less than the $5.7 billion Trump wants. The president is likely to grudgingly sign the legislation and then immediately use his executive authority to fund additional border measures, said a person who spoke to Trump Tuesday and asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.

“I don’t want to see a shutdown. A shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump told reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office. But he wouldn’t commit to signing the legislation, saying he would wait until the White House reviews the final version.

Lowey has been working with Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, Representative Kay Granger, both Republicans and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy to forge a deal to keep the government open.

Lawmakers are working out details of where border walls will be placed and how much say to give local officials. They are also debating whether to add provisions giving contractors back pay and extending Violence Against Women Act protections.