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Facing a Friday deadline to avoid another partial US government shutdown, congressional negotiators said they were aiming to reach a deal on border security funding by Monday night, after talks broke down over the weekend.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Senator Richard Shelby spoke to reporters during a break in private meetings they have been holding with two of their House of Representatives counterparts.”Senator Shelby and I … both agree that if we can wrap this up tonight, do it tonight, not go over to tomorrow” with negotiations, Leahy said.
“We’re talking about reaching an agreement on all of it,” Shelby said. He was referring to deciding funding levels through Sept. 30 for physical barriers on the US-Mexico border, along with the number of immigrant detention beds throughout the United States.
The stalled talks restarted in the US Capitol just hours before a scheduled rally in the Texas border city of El Paso, where President Donald Trump will promote his promised wall along the US-Mexico border, a proposal opposed by Democrats.
An anti-wall protest will greet the Republican president, led by hometown Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman considering running for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination after gaining national prominence last year by nearly upsetting Republican Ted Cruz in a US Senate race in Texas.
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