Rep. Graves casts doubt on spending bill deal to avoid another government shutdown

Rep. Graves casts doubt on spending bill deal to avoid another government shutdown

February 12th, 2019 by Tyler Jett in Breaking News

Despite announcements from leaders in both parties that they have reached a spending deal "in principal" to avoid a government shutdown, U.S. Rep Tom Graves is skeptical.

The Ranger, Georgia, Republican, who is on the conference committee negotiating the package, wrote on Twitter this morning, "I haven't signed off on the reported 'deal' nor have I seen it. Based on the reports, I have concerns. Lots of questions, too."

Lawmakers on both sides announced Monday night that they believed they reached a spending agreement. Hours earlier, some politicians on the conference committee feared they were "hours away" from veering into a shutdown.

"We reached an agreement in principle between us on all the homeland security and the other six bills," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, announced Monday night. "The White House has been consulted all along."

According to Politico, the deal hinged on immigration-related compromises. The deal Monday night includes $1.375 billion for a physical barrier along 55 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. As part of the Democrats' concession, the fencing would include the steel slats that President Donald Trump has asked for.

On the other side, according to Politico, Republicans agreed to fund 40,520 detention beds for ICE, a 17 percent reduction from current levels. Trump asked for funding for 52,000 beds.

Shelby and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowery, D-New York, said they have support from congressional leadership. This includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

Like Graves, some other Republicans and conservative commenters criticized the agreement after it became public Monday night. Sean Hannity called it a "garbage compromise" and Ann Coulter tweeted, "RNC thinks we're as dumb as Democrats."

On Tuesday morning, Lowery told CNN's "New Day," "I would hope Sean Hannity and all the other people you mentioned aren't running this government. ... This was a bipartisan deal ... and I think we did an excellent job that all parts of our caucuses can accept." 

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Chattanooga, is also on the conference committee

Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.


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