A Democratic member of the panel tasked with carving out a Homeland Security spending deal said Thursday the bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to succeed by delivering an "evidence-based" bill to the White House.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., was on CNN's "New Day" and talked about the conference committee's first day of meetings.
"This needs to be an evidence-based decision on what is effective for border security, at the ports of entry, and between our ports of entry," Aguilar said. "If my colleagues want to talk about adding barriers, they are free to do that.
"Everybody in that room wants to come to a conclusion on this. Our job is to be a co-equal branch of government and to put that Homeland Security appropriations bill on the president's desk. Our hope is that if we do that in a bipartisan way, the president will sign it."
The panel was put together as the five-week partial government shutdown ended a week ago. President Donald Trump struck a deal with Democrats that involved signing a temporary spending bill to fund DHS in exchange for lawmakers from both chambers of Congress writing a spending bill that would give money for border security.
Trump continues to insist the bill must contain money for a southern border barrier. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refuses to let any money be used for that purpose.
Aguilar told CNN the conference committee desperately wants to get a deal done so they can avoid facing another shutdown.
"I think all of our colleagues are being very cordial and collegial and [are] focused on getting this done," he said.
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