THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein
President Trump is claiming “no deal,” but it sure sounds like he cut one – and that means a massive defining down of his signature border wall. The “Chuck and Nancy” show’s run isn’t over, it appears: The top Democrats in the House and Senate said they reached an agreement to legalize DACA recipients in exchange for border funding, details to come. Trump tweeted this morning that the wall “is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls” – an important tell, in that it gives him an enormous out. The deal many Democrats and some worried Republicans see coming into view gives in on DACA in exchange for something that falls far short of the “big beautiful wall” that Mexico was supposed to pay for. Trump, of course, will never admit that, and will say his wall is funded. But traps loom for both of the sides who enjoyed Chinese food at the White House Wednesday night. You can’t play ball if both sides are busy playing each other.
BUDGET BATTLE FOCUSES ON EPA
Before Republicans have a shot at passing a tax overhaul, they need to pass a budget, and that debate is far from over. Not only do a number of Republicans want more cuts and a sneak peek at the tax plan before they vote on a budget, plenty of Democrats are still fighting against the budget cuts Republicans are proposing. For example, while Republicans largely balked at the 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency the White House initially suggested, the latest House budget still includes roughly a 5 percent cut to the agency. Many Democrats aren’t celebrating that as some win. At a news conference in Washington Wednesday, federal employee union representatives warned of possible office closings if mission and personnel were rolled back at the EPA. They said they been told the administration was considering shuttering a lab in Houston of all places, which has been central to environmental monitoring post-Hurricane Harvey, ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks writes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY