Updated 12:45 p.m. ET
President Trump said he’s not “happy” with a potential budget deal being worked out by congressional negotiators but added that he doesn’t think there will be a partial government shutdown.
“I have to study it,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick. … Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is no, I’m not happy.” He said that he would be “adding things to it.”
He continued, “I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown. … If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault.”
Details of the deal are still being finalized, but broad outlines include nearly $1.4 billion for 55 miles of physical barriers at the border and a limit of about 40,000 detention beds at Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. Currently, ICE has capacity for just over 49,000 detentions.
The deal is a breakthrough after talks broke down during the weekend over the number of people ICE could detain, which is tied to the number of beds it is allowed. Democrats wanted an even lower cap on the number of beds, arguing that this would force ICE to focus on criminals and those who are truly violent.
It has been unclear if the president would accept the compromise. The amount for physical barriers, after all, does not come close to the amount the president has been demanding for a wall — $5.7 billion. The government will shut down again Friday night if a deal is not reached.
“We probably have some good news,” Trump said, somewhat unenthusiastically, Monday night at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, before adding, “I don’t even want to hear about it. … Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway.”
Talking directly to his base at the rally, he said, “It was between the deal and you, and I had to choose you.”
Many conservatives have decried the bill.
Fox News host Sean Hannity called the potential deal “garbage.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, of the conservative Freedom Caucus tweeted that it was a “bad deal.”
While the President was giving a great speech in El Paso, Congress was putting together a bad deal on immigration.#DoWhatWeSaid
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 12, 2019
It’s possible that Trump could sign the bill, then take executive action, declare a national emergency or somehow move funds around to continue building a wall.
“I’m considering everything,” Trump said at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, not ruling in or out any option.
Trump noted that regardless of what happens with the budget deal, a Southern border wall will be built.
“It’s all going to happen,” Trump said. “We’re going to build a big, beautiful, strong wall.”
“Build the Wall” was a 2016 campaign theme on placards and was chanted at Trump rallies.
Signs that now say “Finish the Wall” are a fixture of his re-election rallies.
Seemingly acknowledging his political base, Trump said at the Cabinet meeting, “We’re building a wall. Now I’m saying, ‘We’re finishing a wall.’ “