Negotiators See Progress in Border Security Talks as Deadline Nears

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi struck starkly different tones in their border security standoff Wednesday, as Trump planned a rally in a Texas border city he says exemplifies the need for a wall and Pelosi said she’d back any bipartisan deal congressional bargainers produce.The contrasting pathways — with Trump set to appear before raucous supporters and Pelosi signaling compromise — came with just over a week until a Feb. 15 deadline for negotiators to reach agreement or potentially face a renewed partial government shutdown. House-Senate bargainers say their talks have become increasingly substantive and some lawmakers — including Pelosi herself — expressed hopes that negotiators might produce an accord as soon as Friday.

Participants said the two sides were narrowing differences in their talks. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., a negotiator, said Democrats were showing some flexibility in the semantic dispute over the type of physical barriers they would accept while Republicans seemed potentially willing to limit where the structures might be built.

“That basically sets the stage for a very reasonable, flexible negotiation,” he said. Other unresolved questions include the amount to be spent on border security, and whether — as Democrats have proposed — to reduce the number of detention beds for migrants available to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Fleischmann said.

“If they come up with a bipartisan agreement, I’m happy to support it,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters. She said she hoped Trump would take “the same hands off” approach.

 Read more at Real Clear Politics

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