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GOP Senate chairman on making a border security deal: 'It could happen'

GOP Senate chairman on making a border security deal: 'It could happen'
© Greg Nash

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (R-Ala.) on Sunday said the select panel negotiating a deal to keep the government funded has "a chance" to make a deal.

"I believe that we've got a chance this week to move things. Will we? We don't know. The president could be right. We could be wasting our time. On the other hand, we could come up to a solution," he told CNN's "State of the Union."

"But as long as the Speaker and the president are way at odds, the chances of us reaching an agreement are slim," he continued.

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President Trump as recently as Friday blasted the bipartisan committee, of which Shelby is a member, as a “waste of time” and threatened to declare a national emergency in order to build a border wall, which has been the sticking point in funding negotiations.

"The president is dead set on keeping his campaign promise," Shelby said on Sunday. Trump in 2016 promised to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Biden urges Democrats to advocate for rescue package MORE (D-Calif.), meanwhile, has pledged there will be zero money for a wall in the deal.

"But the president, I think, has already spoken out and said he's not talking about a concrete wall, 1500 miles and so forth. I think he's been talking about steel barriers and slats and stuff like that," Shelby added on CNN, advocating for a "comprehensive approach" to border security.

Members of the committee have suggested that a deal might refer to border security without referring to a "wall." However, Trump tweeted last Thursday that it is "political games" to call a wall something else, adding "a WALL is a WALL!"

The committee has until Feb. 15, when temporary funding runs out, in order to pass a bill with support from both parties and the president.

Shelby also said "it's up to [Trump]" when asked whether he'd support Trump declaring a national emergency, but said "what we'd like to do is do it in the appropriation process."