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Trump expected to sign 55-mile $1.375B border deal this week

President Donald J. Trump holds a Cabinet Meeting, Tuesday, February 12, 2019 (Joyce N. Boghosian/White House)
February 13, 2019

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the latest tentative border security agreement and fund the government this week ahead of a Friday deadline, despite publicly expressing unhappiness over the compromise and still declaring that the U.S. will have a border wall.

Trump is reportedly planning to sign the deal in order to avoid another government shutdown, “barring any drafting surprises or last-minute additions by Democrats,” sources told NBC News on Wednesday morning.

The agreement includes $1.375 billion allocated for a border barrier of 55 miles but does not permit wall construction. It’s far below the $5.7 billion that Trump has been requesting from the resistant Democrats.

Sources noted that agreement terms are not yet finalized, and no document has been finalized or even drafted.

On Tuesday, Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with the compromise.

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“I can’t say I’m happy,” he told reporters at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “I can’t say I’m thrilled.”

“Am I happy? The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy,” he added.

Trump also said he could still add funding to the measure before it’s officially introduced.

“It’s not doing the trick, and I’m still adding things to it,” he noted.

“I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown,” Trump also said. “If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”

He added, “I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us.”

Late Tuesday, Trump met with Republican Sen. Richard Shelby to discuss a border security compromise, which he seemed pleased with, as his tweets conveyed.

Shelby said the $1.375 billion was considered a down payment on the wall, with discretionary funds also allocated for detention facilities, according to Fox News.

“Was just presented the concept and parameters of the Border Security Deal by hard working Senator Richard Shelby. Looking over all aspects knowing that this will be hooked up with lots of money from other sources…. Will be getting almost $23 BILLION for Border Security. Regardless of Wall money, it is being built as we speak!” he said in a two-part tweet.

Trump is said to be considering executive action if he is not satisfied with a deal.

A national emergency declaration or executive order to divert funds are two actions he could take, though both are likely to draw legal challenges.

The deadline for a new deal is this Friday, which is when last month’s three-week stopgap measure expires.

The measure served as a temporary halt in the partial government shutdown enacted when Congress couldn’t agree on a funding deal that included $5.7 billion in border wall funds. What followed was a 36-day partial government shutdown – the longest in history.