On Monday, Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement over the controversial funding of the border wall with Mexico. However, the settlement only contains a small amount of the $5.7bn demanded by Trump, and does not specifically determine a concrete wall. Republican Senator Richard Shelby said: “Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together. We believe that if this becomes law, it’ll keep open the government.”
Of what is known so far, the deal includes $1.3bn in funding for 55 miles of fencing, which is far less than the 215 miles Trump had asked for. There was no mention of the wall being made of concrete, a point regularly promised by the president, but rather using already existing metal slats. It is planned to be built in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Congress still needs to approve the agreement, which also has to be signed by the president. So far it is not known whether he will back the deal. Reacting to the agreement, Trump said at a rally in Texas: “Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway”. The border wall to Mexico had been one of the most controversial campaign promises made by Trump.
The quarrel over the funding had resulted in the longest partial government shutdown in US-history. It lasted 35 days and cost the country approximately $11bn. 800,000 workers were put on unpaid leave, while others working in hospitals or at airports had to work without being paid.