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McConnell: Trump should sign funding deal

The Hill logo The Hill 2/12/2019 Jordain Carney

Mitch McConnell, Rita Coolidge are posing for a picture: McConnell: Trump should sign funding deal © Greg Nash McConnell: Trump should sign funding deal Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he hopes President Trump will sign a deal struck this week to prevent a second government shutdown.

"I have recommended that if it becomes what we think it is, I do recommend he sign it," McConnell told reporters. "I think he's got a pretty good deal here."

McConnell's comments come as Trump is publicly waffling over whether or not he will support the deal.

The president criticized the tentative agreement during a Cabinet meeting earlier Tuesday, saying he's "not happy about it. It's not doing the trick." But he also suggested he could move ahead on building his long-desired border wall and said he hoped the government would not partially shut down.

The agreement in principle reached on Monday night would fund roughly a quarter of the government for the remainder of the 2019 fiscal year and provides $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I think he's done just fine. I hope he'll conclude that because he's got to sign the bill," McConnell said Tuesday about Trump. "I'm hoping that he will sign this agreement."

McConnell's public urging for Trump to back the agreement is a break with some other Republicans, who are worry of getting out ahead of the president on the wall fight.

The current funding runs out starting Saturday unless a new deal is passed.

Trump caught lawmakers flatfooted late last year when he said he would not support a continuing resolution (CR) to keep portions of the government open into 2019 because it didn't include more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not yet commented on the current funding deal and told reporters late last week that he wanted to know what Trump thinks before lawmakers vote on a potential agreement.

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