Trump undecided on deal to avert another government shutdown

FILE PHOTO: Workers and U.S border patrol officers stand next to an excavator working in a section of the new wall between El Paso, Texas, in the United States and Ciudad Juarez as seen from the Mexican side of the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he has yet to decide whether to support an agreement reached by congressional negotiators to avert another partial government shutdown that includes no funds for his promised U.S.-Mexican border wall.

“I have to study it. I’m not happy about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House about the funding deal that would need to be passed by the Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate and signed by him.

He said another partial government shutdown appeared unlikely.

Democratic and Republican negotiators hammered out a deal on Monday night on border security provisions and money to keep several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, funded through Sept. 30, the end of the current federal fiscal year. Temporary funding for about a quarter of the government is due to expire on Friday.

Congressional Republicans have shown little appetite for another shutdown after taking heavy criticism over the prior one. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments on the Senate floor touting the tentative agreement reached on Monday night left little doubt that the top Republican in Congress wants Trump to support it.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer was more direct, saying, “I strongly urge the president to sign this.”

The Republican president triggered the 35-day partial government shutdown – the longest in U.S. history – with his December demand for Congress to give him $5.7 billion to help build the border wall, which Democrats oppose.

Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Steve Holland in Washington and Roberta Rampton in El Paso, Texas; writing by Will Dunham; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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