Top GOP senator briefs Trump on border negotiations

Top GOP senator briefs Trump on border negotiations
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Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyGOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default GOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling Lawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' MORE (R-Ala.) briefed President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE on the ongoing negotiations to break the stalemate on the U.S.-Mexico border wall and prevent a second shutdown.

Shelby said he had a "productive" meeting with Trump, who he said told the Senate Appropriations chairman that he wanted the conference committee to "wrap it up" and that he wanted a "legislative solution."

"This is crucial time right now, between now and Monday," Shelby said.


He didn't rule out that the group of 17 lawmakers could reach a tentative agreement before then, signaling that the conference committee has made significant progress toward a deal.

Shelby added that if negotiations remained within the "parameters" that he discussed with Trump that he believes the president will ultimately sign an agreement.

"If we can work within some of the parameters that we've talked about today … I think he would sign it. And I think he's, from my perspective, been quite reasonable," Shelby said.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Trump was noncommittal about the spending negotiations.

"Both sides are moving along. We'll see what happens. We need border security. We have to have it. It's not an option. Let's see what happens," he said at the White House.

Shelby spoke with Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip Democrats want investigation into cost, legality of Trump's July Fourth event MORE (D-Vt.) after returning from the White House and expects to speak with Schumer. He also briefed GOP senators about his talks with Trump during a closed-door lunch.

Senators previously thought Trump would sign a continuing resolution in December only for the president to rebuff the legislation because it didn't include extra border wall money.

Shelby declined to say if Trump gave him a specific amount that he wanted to see in any agreement for physical barriers along the border. The president has previously demanded $5.7 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, an amount that can't pass the House or get 60 votes in the Senate.

The "positive" talks between Shelby, Trump and Vice President Pence are the latest sign of movement in the tightly held negotiations ahead of the Feb. 15 deadline to prevent a second shutdown.

Shelby has also spoken separately with Pence this week, as well as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNYT's Friedman repeatedly says 's---hole' in tirade against Trump on CNN GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets 'obviously not racist' On the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer MORE (D-Calif.). Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) met with Democratic conferees on Thursday shortly after Shelby's White House meeting.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinProblem Solvers Caucus co-chair calls Trump comments about progressive congresswomen 'totally unacceptable' Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party Sunday shows - Immigration raids dominate MORE (D-Ill.) told reporters after the meeting with Schumer that "our conversation continues."

-Updated 2:30 p.m.