Trump is said to be very unhappy with the budget deal that was announced last night. He should be; for his part, it’s a worse deal that he would gotten if he hadn’t pulled the shutdown stunt at all. Aaron Blake writes,
The amount of funding is actually shy of the original deal Republicans and Democrats reached last year that Trump rejected. At that time, the spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security included $1.6 billion for 65 miles of fencing, both slightly more than the current tentative deal.
Now that negotiators have reached an agreement in principle for six months of spending on the border, however, it’s once again clear that Trump’s win on the wall will remain firmly in the category of the imaginary.
It includes only $1.375 billion for new bollard fencing in targeted areas. That’s nothing like Trump’s wall — it’s limited to the kind of fencing that has already been built for years — and it’s substantially short of the $5.7 billion Trump wants. It’s nothing remotely close to the wall that haunts the imagination of the president and his rally crowds. The $1.375 billion is slightly less than what Democrats had previously offered him. It can’t even be credibly sold as a down payment on the wall.
Everyone is hoping he’ll take the $1.375 billion for fencing and claim victory for his wall. But the usual malcontents, like Ann Coulter, already are slamming it.
Trump talks a good game on the border wall but it’s increasingly clear he’s afraid to fight for it. Call this his “Yellow New Deal.”
â€” Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 12, 2019
Back to Greg Sargent:
A House Democratic aide tells me that negotiators also agreed that the deal would include “substantial” expenditures to address the humanitarian plight of migrants arriving at the border.
Such money would go toward “medical care, more efficient transportation, food and other consumables,” to “upgrade conditions and services for migrants,” as the original Democratic proposal at the start of conference committee talks put it. …
…Unfortunately, Democrats backed down on a core demand: a cap on Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds. Democrats hoped this would force ICE to focus resources on dangerous undocumented immigrants, thus picking up fewer longtime noncriminal residents.
But Democrats instead agreed to fund 45,000 detention beds. To understand this, note that ICE is currently overspending against last year’s budget, by funding around 49,000 beds. So relative to that, Democrats are cutting the number of beds. But as Heidi Altman notes, what Democrats agreed to is higher than the actual number of beds legitimately funded last year. So that’s a hike.
It’s a deal in which nobody got everything they wanted, but I’d support it to avoid a shutdown. Right now it’s anybody’s guess what Trump will do, though.
See also Why the Wall Will Never Rise by Richard Parker.