GOP lawmaker: Border deal is 'worse than we had before the shutdown'

A GOP lawmaker on Wednesday criticized the funding deal reached by negotiators this week to avert another possible shutdown, but acknowledged it was likely final.

"It's the deal that we have, and frankly I think we've come to the end of this road. I think it's the best we're going to get," Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartHouse gears up for Mueller testimony House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (R-Utah) said on CNN.

Stewart said that the previous record-long shutdown, which began in December and lasted for 35 days before a deal was struck to temporarily reopen the government, hurt Republicans' bargaining strength in Congress.

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"In hindsight, [the shutdown] didn't help us," Stewart said Wednesday. "You have to ignore reality to say anything different. It didn't help us. The deal we ended up with now is worse than we had before the shutdown."

Stewart said he expects President Trump to sign the agreement struck by a bipartisan committee of lawmakers despite reports of the bill containing far less than the $5.7 billion the White House previously had demanded for a border barrier.

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on the legislation. It includes $1.375 billion in funding for about 55 miles of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border and roughly $23 billion in total funding.

Trump has for weeks raised the prospect of declaring a national emergency over illegal border crossings to allocate funds for construction of a border wall if Democrats did not provide funding. Such a move would almost certainly face a legal challenge.

Stewart earlier this month pushed back on the possibility of Trump declaring such an emergency.

"If we declare a national emergency to build a few hundred miles of fence, my fear is what is the next Democrat president going to do when he or she thinks that climate change is a national emergency... It opens a Pandora's Box," he said.