Border security package hits hurdles in final stretch

The border security compromise package on Capitol Hill aimed at averting another government shutdown is running into problems, with one conservative source telling Fox News that the bill “is leaking oil right now” — and President Trump not saying if he’ll support it.

The text of the bill was expected to be available later Wednesday. But one source close to the process said lawmakers are “struggling” to finish it.

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The difficulties come as the conservative lawmakers on the House Freedom Caucus, who want more funding for the wall, said Wednesday they’re pushing for a one-week continuing resolution to fund the government — giving lawmakers more time to work out a deal with more wall funding.

“The conference report is projected to be thousands of pages long and was negotiated behind closed doors,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a statement. “We believe that members should be given enough time to read it before voting on it, so they can decide whether or not a better deal can be negotiated.”

Congressional negotiators announced Monday that they’d reached “an agreement in principle” on border security funding that includes more than $1.3 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. The White House initially requested $5.7 billion for the border wall.

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Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump before several Cabinet-level departments shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.

When asked Wednesday if they had an agreement that Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: “We think so. We hope so.”

But on Wednesday, the president remained noncommittal about signing.

“Well, we haven’t gotten it yet,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll be getting it and we’ll be looking for land mines — because you could have that.”

Now,the administration is dangling the possibility that Trump could declare a national emergency and divert money from the federal budget for wall construction, but that move would almost certainly be challenged in both Congress and the courts..

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A highly placed administration official told Fox News on Wednesday that there has been no decision to sign the compromise legislation – and that Trump, White House officials and Department of Homeland Security officials will first need the opportunity to go through the entire bill with a fine-tooth comb.

The possibility of declaring a national emergency is still on the table, the official said, though no decision has been made on that front, either.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Sam Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: FoxNews

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