Top US politicians agree on border funding

12 February 2019 12:49 Australia Desk

Politicians in the US have reached an in-principle agreement on border security funding.

US congressional negotiators say an "agreement in principle" has been reached on border security funding, potentially averting another round of federal shutdowns.

Speaking after a meeting of negotiators, US Republican Senator Richard Shelby did not give an outline of the deal but said staff will work out the details.

The negotiators had worked into the night in hopes of striking a deal on funding border security through September 30.

Now they will need the support of President Donald Trump, whose signature will be needed ahead of the deadline at midnight Friday.

If lawmakers don't act, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed for a second time this year.

Negotiations had broken down over the weekend over funding for immigrant detention beds and physical barriers that would be funded along the US-Mexico border.

The lawmakers wanted to reach an agreement to allow time for the legislation to pass the House and Senate and get signed by President Donald Trump by Friday, when funding for the Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies expires.

Trump agreed on January 25 to end a 35-day partial US government shutdown

without getting the $US5.7 billion he had demanded from congress for a long- promised wall along the border with Mexico.

Democrats oppose a wall, calling it ineffective, expensive and immoral.

Instead, a three-week spending deal was reached with congressional leaders to give lawmakers time to resolve their disagreements about how to address border security.

Trump, who said in December he would be "proud" to shut the federal government over border security, took a different tack on Monday.

"It's up to the Democrats," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked whether the government was headed toward its second shutdown of the winter.

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