Washington: Partly offsetting optimism lawmakers will manage to avoid another government shutdown, President Donald Trump expressed displeasure with a tentative agreement reached by bipartisan negotiators.
Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Tuesday that he is “not happy” with the deal struck by lawmakers but stopped short of saying he would reject the plan.
The president suggested he was “adding things” to the compromise agreement and claimed he would still build a “beautiful, big, strong wall” on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump noted he is still studying the details of the deal, which reportedly includes $1.4 billion for physical barriers on the border, well short of his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.
Democrats have also purportedly agreed to drop their demand to reduce the number of illegal immigrants who can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., a lead Republican negotiator, said the White House was consulted throughout the negotiations.
The comments from Trump come as lawmakers face a deadline of midnight on Friday to pass a spending bill and avoid another government shutdown.
Trump said he does not think there will be another shutdown but added, “If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”
Trump continued to tout the success of walls during a rally in the border town of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, claiming sections of the wall are already being built or refurbished despite the dispute with Democrats.
Last month, Trump agreed to end the record-setting government shutdown, signing legislation to fund the shuttered parts of the government until February 15th.
The bill did not include money for Trump’s controversial border wall, which was the issue that led to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
At the time, Trump indicated the three weeks of funding provided by the legislation would give lawmakers time to negotiate on the contentious issue of border security.