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Wall Wars
February 12, 2019

On Monday night, the top four congressional negotiators trying to hammer out a border deal before Friday — Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas) — said they have reached an "agreement in principle." The reported details include $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new steel border fencing, funding for 40,520 ICE detention beds, and a $1.7 billion increase in Homeland Security Department border-related funding.

On Tuesday morning, Lowey told CNN's Alisyn Camerota that "as we left the conference, we all agreed that we weren't going to release the details. But it sounds to me as you have a good number of the details." The deal "is a compromise — no one got everything they wanted," she added. Still, "55 miles of a barrier?" Camerota asked. "What makes you think the president is going to sign this?" Lowey didn't have a direct answer.

Camerota also wanted to square the $1.375 billion with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) statement that Trump wouldn't get any money for a border wall. "Well, you're describing it, I guess you got word from the negotiation," Lowey said. "This is not a wall. This is a barrier. These are fences."

One Republican source disputed some of the details, telling Politico the $1.375 billion can be used for "new miles of border wall," for example. Shelby and Lowey said Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have approved the deal. Peter Weber

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