Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.49 12 Feb 2019


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Democrats and Republicans in the US have reached an agreement in principle over border security.

If approved by Congress, the deal would fund the federal government and avert another partial shutdown.

The agreement was struck in a closed-door meeting in Washington.

Details of the deal have not yet been made public.

However, the New York Times reports it includes "$1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border".

That would be far short of the $5.7 billion Donald Trump had demanded for a border wall.

The impasse over the wall previously led to the longest partial government shutdown in US history, lasting 35 days.

President Trump, who would have to sign any funding bill into law, hasn't yet said if he will back the new deal.

Speaking yesterday, he argued: "We need a wall. All of the other things are nice to have, but without a wall it's not going to work.

"We can have technology, we can have beautiful drones flying all over the place. But it doesn't work without the wall."

Friday deadline

Democrats repeatedly refused to support any deal that contains funding for the controversial wall.

Amid the continuing impasse, Trump agreed last month to temporarily reopen the government without any border deal.

Negotiators from both parties have been working to achieve a permanent deal ahead of a looming deadline of this Friday.

It's previously been reported that efforts to reach a bipartisan compromise had stalled.

However, it was confirmed last night that an agreement had been reached 'in principle'.

Republican Senator Richard Shelby told reporters: "Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together."

He added that he believed the proposals, if passed, would 'keep the government open'.

The proposals will now go before Congress.

The bill will need to be passed and signed into law by Friday if another government shutdown is to be avoided.

Main image: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/QA Images

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