But President Donald Trump isn’t ready to break it to his supporters just yet.
Rather than selling a potential breakthrough, reached on Capitol Hill to stave off a new partial government shutdown, Trump revived the molten rhetoric on immigration that helped make him President at a boisterous campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night.
Down by the border, Trump was in outsized form, firing off his dubious claims on immigration while torching Democrats with fierce new attacks on climate change and abortion.
In Washington, under the Capitol dome, Republican lawmakers worked diligently with those same Democrats on the kind of institutional Washington compromise that anchors the conventional politics Trump disdains.
In his hour-and-15-minute address, Trump excoriated Democrats and repeated false claims that the nearby wall had meant huge cuts in the city’s violent crime.
But the President told the audience he had chosen not to learn the details of a bipartisan deal to avert a shutdown before he clambered onstage.
That in itself was a hint that there was no famous victory to crow about and that the agreement reached in Washington — which contains only $1.375 billion for barriers and no wall — falls well short of the President’s demands for $5.7 billion to fund a campaign promise that has an almost mystical hold on his base.
The President said he had been told by aides before the rally that a deal had been clinched but he had not wanted the crowd kept waiting by finding out what was in it.
“While the President was giving a great speech in El Paso, Congress was putting together a bad deal on immigration,” tweeted House Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican.
Meanwhile the President remained unrepentant, repeating his false claim, which has even been debunked by El Paso Republicans, that a section of border wall was responsible for a huge slump in violent crime in the city.
Should Trump declare a national emergency to reprogram funds to build the wall, he could quickly run into legal roadblocks and worry Republican senators, who fear how a future Democratic president could use such a sweeping precedent.
But Trump would be able to keep alive the crusade for a wall and mine vehement Republican support for the project for political capital.
One option for the White House would be to accept the congressional deal — but then seek to use executive power to find other funds elsewhere to erect new border barriers unilaterally.
But the first signs are that it falls well short of Trump’s demands, which sparked the longest government shutdown in history in December and January for a 200-mile stretch of wall or steel fences on the US-Mexico border.
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