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Republicans Really Need to Sell Trump on This Border Deal. Here’s How That’s Going.

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13.02.2019

President Donald Trump is not a fan of the border deal that congressional negotiators struck Monday night, the one that he would need to sign by the end of the week to avoid the year’s second government shutdown. While he said at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he would have to “study it,” he was “not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.”

But! He didn’t say he would veto it. As far as first reactions go, that was victory enough for Republican leaders desperate to avoid another disastrous lapse in funding. The trick over the next couple of days, then, will be to convince the president that this is not just his best option but actually a great deal for him.

The most dismaying figure for the president in the deal is the $1.375 billion he “won” to fund approximately 55 miles of new border fencing. That’s not only shy of the $5.7 billion he requested and then shut down the government over in a poorly planned-out effort to secure it. It’s also shy of the $1.6 billion (and 65 miles) that Senate negotiators were willing to give him last summer, before he got the curious idea in his head that he might get more money following a Democratic electoral wave.

But all numbers can be spun, and so Republicans are spinning this one. Several senators and a Republican aide involved in the talks pointed out that Trump will get roughly “three times” the amount of fencing money in this deal that he would get by signing a continuing resolution to fund the government at existing levels through the remainder of the fiscal year. Triple!

They’re also trying to convince Trump that he would be forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to eat her own words. Two weeks ago, Pelosi had said that “there’s not going to be any wall money”........

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