Republican senators praise spending deal as path to Trump border request

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) arrives for a meeting with U.S. House-Senate conferees to receive a closed briefing from U.S. Border Patrol career professionals, who discuss “the challenges they face protecting the U.S.-Mexico border” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Richard Shelby said on Tuesday the spending deal reached to avert a partial government shutdown this week is a “down payment” on President Donald Trump’s border security requests.

Fellow Republican Senator John Thune called the agreement reached by a bipartisan committee of senators and members of the House of Representatives an “important breakthrough” that allows the Republican president to build a section of his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Reporting by Amanda Becker; writing by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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