Dem lawmaker 'confident' bipartisan group will strike deal on border funding

Dem lawmaker 'confident' bipartisan group will strike deal on border funding
© Greg Nash

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Sunday that he feels "confident" members of a bipartisan committee negotiating border security funding will be able to reach an agreement, despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE's skepticism.

"I feel if we don’t get outside pressure, the committee can sit down and work this out," Cuellar, a member of the group of lawmakers tasked with crafting a Homeland Security funding proposal, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"We can work out a deal," he continued. "I know we can sit down and work it if we just don’t get any outside pressure, do what we need to do, and I feel that the process as appropriators … we can work something out. I feel confident."


While the government is funded until Feb. 15, Cuellar suggested that the group of lawmakers must come up with a final agreement by the end of the week so it can be distributed to and voted on by the rest of Congress.

Cuellar appeared on "Fox News Sunday" along with Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle Bottom Line The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo MORE (R-N.D.), who is also a member of the bipartisan committee on border security funding.

Hoeven insisted that a physical barrier should be part of any final arrangement, while Cuellar was adamant that there would not be a "wall." The Democrat said "some sort of enhanced barrier" could be part of a final deal.

The two men agreed that border patrol agents and experts should have a say in developing the proposal. Hoeven said those representatives are likely to speak with the committee later this week.

Trump has cast doubt on the chances that the group will deliver a satisfactory deal, telling Republicans they are “wasting their time” in negotiations, and insisting the final agreement must include money for a wall along the border.

Trump previously triggered a record 35-day government shutdown over his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for the wall. He has not ruled out shutting down the government again, or declaring a national emergency to direct construction of the wall.

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that,” Trump said of the emergency declaration on Friday.