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Fence funding but no money for wall: US finds middle way to avoid another shutdown

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Washington, Feb 12: With the United States staring at another government shutdown, the negotiators of the Congress claimed on Monday (February 11) that they had reached an "agreement in principle" to avoid another partial shutdown.

As per the deal, border security will be funded but no money will be provided for the border wall which is being championed stubbornly by President Donald Trump.

Fence funding but no money for wall: US finds middle way to avoid another shutdown

According to a report in NBC News that cited several sources to say: "The deal would match 2018's funding level for what officials described as new border fencing that could include steel slats and other "existing technologies" but would not be a concrete wall. It would also provide an additional $1.7 billion for other Homeland Security priorities like new technology and more customs officers."

Also Read | Trump critics, take this! After govt shutdown, US prez has highest approval rating, says survey

Negotiators from Senate and the House who have been handling the issue on the behalf of both parties did not comment on it saying the staff members were still working on last-minute issues.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican, said an agreement was reached in principle.

Lakhs of federal employees went without their salaries after the stalemate over the proposed border wall saw the shutdown running for over a month to become the longest in the history of the US.

It was lifted on January 25 but Trump warned of using emergency powers to erect the wall if no deal was reached. February 15 was said to be the deadline failing which the country would go into another shutdown.

Also Read | US parties reach agreement to avoid government shutdown

The hope-raising agreement came in a third round of discussions on Capitol Hill on Monday after a week of stuck negotiations. The agreement came just ahead of Trump's rally in the border city of El Paso in Texas where he mobilised support ahead of the 2020 presidential election by focusing on the border wall issue.

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