President Donald Trump claimed the 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, was a useful, educational lesson on the US-Mexico border, according to a New York Times report published Wednesday.
Trump reportedly played down the notion he was capitulating to the bipartisan group of lawmakers who signaled their support for a compromise that includes $1.37 billion for steel fencing along the southern border, the report said, citing Trump and his aides.
That amount is far less than the $5.7 billion the president initially demanded in funding for a wall.
The president reportedly lamented it was not the agreement he was seeking, but noted the funds from apparent compromise would still be used to secure the US-Mexico border.
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the compromise Thursday night, one day before the government shuts down again in the event no agreement is reached. Trump would then have to decide whether or not he signs the bill.
“Am I happy at first glance? The answer is no, I’m not, I’m not happy,” Trump said to reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
Trump may have signaled his discontent to a select group of people, but he did not show the same sentiment to the public. On Tuesday evening, he congratulated Republicans on their efforts to reach a deal on funding for border security — including the purported funds for a wall.
Trump was reportedly still considering other measures to fund his proposed wall without taking the drastic step of declaring a national emergency. One of the options included diverting unspent money from Northern California flood control projects and disaster relief aid for Puerto Rico, according to a Politico report published Monday.
The most recent shutdown began on December 22 and ended January 25 after Congress failed to reach an agreement on an appropriations bill. Roughly 800,000 federal employees and government contractors were affected, many of them including service members of the US Coast Guard.
Throughout the ordeal, numerous communities rallied to aid those who were affected by setting up food banks and offering financial support.