House Republican leader says border deal doesn't need the word 'wall'

House Republican leader says border deal doesn't need the word 'wall' Photo: AP/Alex Brandon

January 29, 2019 01:12 PM

A border security compromise that Congress hopes to produce doesn't have to include the word "wall," the top House Republican said Tuesday, signaling a rhetorical retreat from a term that President Donald Trump made a keystone of his presidential campaign.

The remark by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, came a day before Republican and Democratic congressional bargainers begin meetings aimed at striking a deal on a border package. It was the latest sign that both sides are suggesting flexibility and trying to look reasonable as talks begin.

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"It could be a barrier. It doesn't have to be a wall," McCarthy told reporters.

Trump's demand that lawmakers provide $5.7 billion to build segments of his prized wall along the border with Mexico prompted the just-ended 35-day partial federal government shutdown. The government reopened Monday for three weeks, giving the administration and Congress more time to craft a border security compromise.

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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