DONALD Trump faces a painful defeat in his battle for a border wall after politicians reached a deal that is said to include just a QUARTER of the money he demanded.
Republican and Democrat negotiators reached an agreement "in principle" to avert another crippling government shutdown, it was announced on Monday.
AFP or licensors5 Donald Trump speaking at a rally in El Paso, Texas on Monday night, as US politicians agreed a 'tentative' deal to avoid a shutdown
Getty Images – Getty5 A section of the border wall in Tijuana, Mexico. Just 55 miles of new construction would be funded under the new deal
Republican Senator Richard Shelby did not say whether Donald Trump would get any money for a US-Mexico border wall.
But sources told the Associated Press that a figure of nearly $1.4 billion (£1.1bn) had been agreed to go towards 55 miles of new fencing along the border.
That is just 25 per cent of the president's requested $5.7 billion (£4.4bn) – which would have provided for 215 miles of construction.
Trump's demands for border wall funding in December triggered a record 35-day partial government shutdown.
Senator Shelby added: "Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to put all the particulars together."
WILL TRUMP SIGN?
Asked if President Trump had signed off on the deal, Shelby said the negotiators talked periodically with "White House representatives."
Although he did not say Trump had endorsed the pact, Shelby added he thought and hoped the president could support it.
The deal would provide funding for border security programs through to 30 September.
Details won't be officially released until later on Tuesday, but aides revealed aspects of the deal under condition of anonymity because the agreement is tentative.
They revealed the agreement will also include increases for new technologies such as advanced screening at border entry point, humanitarian aid sought by Democrats, and more customs officers.
I hope by Wednesday we'll have a finished product
Representative Nita LoweyDemocrat negotiator
Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow congressional negotiators time to find a compromise on government funding for the rest of the fiscal year.
Democratic Representative Nita Lowey said on Monday night: "I hope by Wednesday we'll have a finished product."
Lowey said she had been in touch with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi who she said "has confidence I have made the right decision."
The stalled talks restarted in the US Capitol just hours before a scheduled rally in the Texas border city of El Paso.
Trump used the speech to promote his promised wall along the US-Mexico border to counter what his administration has called a "crisis" at the frontier.
Democrats have firmly opposed a wall – calling it an ineffective waste of money.
A counter-rally led by hometown Democrat Beto O'Rourke was organised to greet the Republican president.
The former congressman, who is considering seeking his party's 2020 presidential nomination, gained national prominence by nearly unseating Republican Senator Ted Cruz in last November's elections.
In Washington, the small group of lawmakers leading the negotiations met for about two hours.
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They said they wanted to seal a plan by Monday night to allow time for the legislation to pass the House and Senate and get Trump's signature.
A deal will need to by signed off by Friday, when funding is due to expire for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and several other federal agencies.
The recent shutdown left more than 800,000 government workers without paychecks, forced postponement of the State of the Union address and sent Trump's poll numbers tumbling.
Trump's supporters have suggested he use executive powers to divert money from the federal budget for wall construction – though he could face challenges in Congress or the courts.
AP:Associated Press5 President Trump in El Paso on Monday night, where he repeated his demands for a border wall
EPA5 Republican Senator Richard Shelby said he hoped the president would sign off on the deal
EPA5 Democratic Representative Nita Lowey said she had her party's support for the new deal
Donald Trump blasts wealthy elite’s hypocrisy as they ‘push for open borders while living behind walls’ at the State of the Union address