Border deal agreed to ‘in principle’ (don’t hold your breath) (updated)


Monday night, House and Senate negotiators on Monday night agreed in principle to provide $1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border, part of a broader agreement that would stave off another partial government shutdown without funding President Trump’s wall. Border Deal Is Reached ‘in Principle’:

The agreement would allow for 55 miles of new bollard fencing, with some restrictions on location based on community and environmental concerns, according to two congressional aides, who requested anonymity to disclose details of the private negotiations. This is only a fraction of the more than 200 miles of steel-and-concrete wall that Mr. Trump demanded — and 10 miles less than negotiators agreed on last summer, before Democrats took control of the House.

The agreement “in principle” must still pass the House and the Senate, and secure President Trump’s signature.

Good luck with that. The racist polemicists of the alt-right who make up Trump’s unofficial “kitchen cabinet” of advisers and who were responsible for the Trump Shutdown last month are already trashing this agreement “in principle.”

Trump’s minister of propaganda at Fox News aka Trump TV, Sean Hannity, the man whom Trump talks to most nights before going to bed, was already trashing the deal Monday night. ‘Garbage compromise’: Hannity warns Republicans not to back spending deal:

President Donald Trump’s most ardent cable news defender cut away briefly from the president’s Monday night rally in El Paso, Texas, to issue a warning to Republican lawmakers: Don’t back congressional negotiators’ latest border deal.

“On this new, so-called compromise, I’m getting details,” said Fox News host Sean Hannity, referring to the tentative agreement reached by a bipartisan conference committee that would allocate roughly $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“1.3 billion? That’s not a — not even a wall, a barrier?” Hannity said.

“I’m going to tell this tonight and we will get back into this tomorrow,” he continued. “Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain.”

Hannity’s swift rebuke of what Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) described as “an agreement in principle” echoed the backlash from conservative commentators in December 2018 over proposed government funding measures.

Those detractors, including media personalities Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, viewed any amount of taxpayer dollars less than the president’s $5.7 billion demand for a border wall to be a forfeit by the White House.

Racist provocateur Laura Ingraham has also weighed in against the deal.

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You should anticipate the drug-addled Rush Limbaugh to rail against the deal today on his hate talk radio show. It is only a matter of time before racist provocateur Ann Coulter spends the day railing against the deal on Twitter.

Trump’s unofficial “kitchen cabinet” of racist advisers is opposed to this deal. These are the bottom-feeing sewer dwellers to whom Trump listens.

This is why congressional negotiators have no one to negotiate with because Trump’s word is meaningless. He has blown up deals he had agreed to after his unofficial “kitchen cabinet” of racist advisers were mean to him for having agreed to a deal.

Don’t expect this deal to come together. The racist alt-right wants a confrontation and another Trump Shutdown. They want to force Trump’s hand to declare a national emergency and to use an executive order to redirect money meant for the U.S. Armed Forces to build his ‘big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border.

What these racist provocateurs don’t seem to realize is that there is a third-party not even at the negotiating table who hold more leverage than they do: flight attendants and federal aviation safety workers. They can shut down the nation’s air travel system for safety reasons with a work stoppage. Second shutdown poses more dangers for the flying public, workers say:

“We’re here to let the American public know that there was no end to that shutdown,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO. “The shutdown has continued. The harm has continued. The programs for safety and security that continue to run and help to make us safer have not been fully restored.”

Nelson spoke at a news conference at Reagan National Airport, where she and other labor leaders called on budget negotiators to stop punishing federal workers for their inability to reach a deal.

At a time when many federal workers are still trying to recover financially and emotionally from more than a month of not working or working without pay, the threat of a second shutdown could have even more dire consequences for aviation safety, they said.

“It is wrong to use workers and their families and the flying public as pawns in a political game,” said Sara Steffens, secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America. “We saw firsthand and many of our members saw firsthand during the last shutdown how dangerous it is to furlough aviation safety officers and withhold their paychecks.”

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[A]s union officials and congressional negotiators worked to end the impasse, other lawmakers were working to shield the nation’s aviation system in the event that a future shutdown does occur.

Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) introduced legislation Friday that would protect the Federal Aviation Administration from future shutdowns by using revenue from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to fund FAA programs and personnel.

Revenue from the trust fund comes from a variety of sources including taxes on domestic air tickets, commercial fuel, general aviation gasoline and cargo.

DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the legislation and the impact of the 35-day shutdown on the aviation industry.

An estimated 800,000 federal employees were furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown. That included more than 30,000 Transportation Security Administration officers, air traffic controllers and other FAA employees.

Nelson and others urged the public to lobby their representatives in Congress. And as part of the effort to mobilize the public, they announced several rallies scheduled for Saturday should a second shutdown occur. Events are scheduled in Houston, Chicago and Hono­lulu.

“We’re calling on the American public — if Congress chooses chaos and chooses to put our industry into turmoil, we’re calling on the American public to join us at airports around the country,” Nelson said. “There are things that we must do today to support our federal workers to keep us safe, to keep our aviation system running and to make sure that this Congress is keeping our safety and security out of politics.”

As the shutdown stretched from days into weeks, a growing number of TSA officers — citing financial hardship — stopped coming to work. Union leaders said air traffic controllers were similarly stretched, with some taking second jobs to make ends meet.

While the impacts of the partial shutdown rippled across the government, affecting everything from tax returns to food inspection, some of the most high-profile examples played out at the nation’s airports where travelers in Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston and elsewhere were caught in long security lines because of a shortage of TSA officers to screen passengers.

In fact, some credit the temporary slowdown of flights into and out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 25 for pushing negotiators and Trump to reach a deal. The FAA was forced to slow flights into the busy New York airport, as well as flights at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, because several air traffic controllers called out.

When the end of the shutdown was announced, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) tweeted: “Thank you air traffic controllers. You scared Trump straight into opening the government.”

If Trump shuts down the government again for his border wall, flight attendants and federal aviation safety workers should announce a work stoppage. Shut down the nation’s air travel system. There will be a compromise passed by Congress and signed by the president within 24 hours.

UPDATE: Called it! Trump criticizes border wall deal: ‘Can’t say I’m happy’:

President Trump on Tuesday knocked a bipartisan deal to avert a government shutdown while providing a fraction of the money he demanded for a wall for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m thrilled,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting.

Trump predicted there would not be a shutdown but added “if you did have it, it’s the Democrats fault.”

“I would hope that there won’t be a shutdown,” he said. “I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us. It’s sad. They’re doing the country no favors.”

Excuuuse me? This was:

A bipartisan committee reached the deal on Monday night after talks appeared to have reached a stalemate over the weekend amid an intense fight over whether the number of detention beds should be capped. Negotiators cast the deal as the best solution to avert a shutdown.

“You know, would I like to have done more? Absolutely. But in negotiations, you give and take and we think overall it’s a pretty good deal,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) – not a Democrat.

Trump is listening only to his unofficial “kitchen cabinet” of racist advisers who want to force Trump’s hand to declare a national emergency and to use an executive order to redirect money meant for the U.S. Armed Forces to build his ‘big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border.

Trump appeared to open the door to redirect certain federal funding dedicated for other projects toward wall construction, a move recently floated by White House advisers to begin wall construction while stopping short of making a controversial national emergency declaration.

“I am not happy. But am I happy with where we’re going? I’m thrilled because we’re supplementing things and moving things around and we’re doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less important areas and the bottom line is we’re building a lot of wall,” Trump said.

The president also did not rule out declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress to build the wall, saying “I’m considering everything.”

But those moves could will face legal challenges that could stymie any attempt to build a wall using the executive authority.

McConnell reportedly warned Trump about using an emergency declaration to build border wall, that it would “create a rift in the GOP conference.” The Washington Post reported that McConnell told Trump the Senate could pass a resolution disapproving of the emergency declaration.

The deal, and Trump’s response to it, came under attack from conservatives who said that it would not result in getting the wall built, one of the president’s core campaign promises from 2016.

Right-wing commentator Ann Coulter tweeted on Tuesday around the same time that Trump was speaking:

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Trump triggered the last shutdown in December after conservatives blasted him for initially backing a spending deal that included no wall funding. Trump has repeatedly defended his decision, even though it resulted in a massive hit for his approval ratings.

It will be Trump listening only to his unofficial “kitchen cabinet” of racist advisers that is responsible for the next Trump Shutdown as well. You own it, Dude.

And get ready for next round of GOP hostage taking this summer. “Once the debt limit suspension ends on March 1, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to once again deploy extraordinary funding measures to keep the cash spigot open for as long as possible.” Wall Street Eyes August as Possible Drop-Dead Date for Debt Ceiling:

[S]trategists at both Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of America are tentatively penciling in some time in August for the government’s so-called drop-dead date.

Bank of America strategists Mark Cabana and Olivia Lima said the ongoing shutdown of the federal government raises the risks of a challenging fight in Washington around the debt limit.