Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) praised President Donald Trump’s deal with congressional Democrats as a major concession by the opposition to Trump’s drive for border security funding.
“I think in the end, Trump won a big victory here, because everybody else had folded,” Paul told Breitbart News. “At Christmastime, everybody else was folding, and just saying, ‘Oh the Democrats gained control of the House, this is the best that we’ll ever do.’ So he got $1.375 billion for border security that wasn’t in there before.”
The deal was negotiated by Paul’s ally in the administration, White House Budget Director and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who sat down with Democrats at Camp David to work out a compromise between the Trump administration’s demands for $5.7 billion in border security funding and Democrat leadership’s insistence on giving no money to fund Trump’s proposed wall.
“I think the president wanted $5 billion and Nancy Pelosi wanted $0, so until she got him to $0 there was going to be no compromise,” Paul added. “So I think there will be a splitting of the difference, I think the number that’s being floated around is $1.375 billion — not all of that for the wall, but some of it will be. Democrats can say none of it’s for the wall, but in reality it’s for a steel slat barrier that certainly looks pretty hard to get over for me.”
Paul’s praise for the deal stands out, as several leading immigration restrictionist conservatives have condemned it as an unnecessary capitulation to the Democrats.
“I don’t support [the agreement] and I don’t like it,” Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Fox News. “Only in Washington D.C. can we start out with needing $25 billion for border security measures and expect applause at $1.37 [billion]. I mean, only in D.C. is that a winning deal.”