Kay Granger says border deal fulfills Trump’s wall promise

While President Donald Trump was rallying support for his border wall in El Paso on Monday night, Texas Republican Kay Granger was busy delivering it.

Granger told the Star-Telegram that Republicans and Democrats have reached an agreement she said will give the president his wall, and keep the government from once again entering a partial shutdown at the end of the week.

“We have agreements on the most important issues,” Granger said after emerging from a meeting with top House and Senate appropriators late Monday evening. “This has been a difficult one because the issue is so important.”

Granger and other lawmakers working on the deal to fund the Department of Homeland Security provided no details about how many miles of fencing or how much money for physical barriers would be included in their plan.

They’re optimistic, however, that it can garner enough support from lawmakers in both parties to pass a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democrat-controlled House.

As for Trump, who has said he would reject any deal that didn’t include sufficient money for his border wall, Granger said the deal would deliver his chief campaign promise, “if you want to call it a wall.”

Granger serves as the top Republican on the House spending committee, responsible for delivering a deal her conservative colleagues can accept.

“I think all of us have talked to our different constituencies and our colleagues as we’ve gone along,” Granger said of the deal, which is expected to fund DHS and six other government agencies set to run out of money Feb. 15.

A group of 17 lawmakers from the House and Senate spending panels have been working toward an agreement to fund those agencies for more than two weeks, but negotiations stalled over the weekend over disagreements about funding for detention beds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On Monday, Granger and Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, plus the top Republican and Democratic appropriators, Sens. Richard Shelby, Of Alabama, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, met privately to forge a deal without the rest of that panel.

“We all said that we did not want to shut down the government, we want to reach an agreement,” said Granger. “It was great cooperation among the four of us.”

Shelby, the top Senate Republican in that group, said “our staffs will be working feverishly to put all the particulars together… we’re not going to get into numbers.”

While they worked from Leahy’s office in the U.S. Capitol, Trump, who hasn’t been personally involved in the negotiations, was rallying with supporters in El Paso, Texas.

Asked whether the plan would satisfy Trump, Shelby couldn’t say.

“We talked to, from time to time… White house representatives who know what’s going on here, and we’ll go from there,” said Shelby.

Andrea Drusch is the Washington Correspondent for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She is a Corinth, Texas, native and graduate of the Bob Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University. She returns home frequently to visit family, get her fix of Fuzzy’s Tacos and cheer on the Horned Frogs.