House, Senate negotiators begin talks on Trump's border wall funding – live updates

/ CBS/AP

Capitol Hill negotiators kick off talks Wednesday on a Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill to see if they can reach an agreement on border security funding before partial government funding lapses on Feb. 15. The federal government is now back at work after a 35-day shutdown over $5.7 billion for a southern border wall or barrier sought by President Trump. Republican and Democratic conferees hope to hash out a compromise while averting yet another government shutdown.

The president agreed Friday to reopen government for three weeks so negotiators can work out a border security deal, but with no commitments for wall funds. At the end of that period, he has not ruled out another shutdown or a national emergency declaration that would enable him to redirect budget funds to building parts of a wall or barrier.

Mr. Trump appears to be a little pessimistic about the prospects of an agreement, telling the Wall Street Journal that he puts the odds at less than "50-50" that lawmakers will reach a compromise.

White House spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp said it's up to Congress now. "The president has perfectly set this table for the negotiations with Congress," she said. "He wants to give Congress one more chance." Mr. Trump urged members to focus on the wall, tweeting Wednesday, "If the committee of Republicans and Democrats now meeting on Border Security is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time!"

GOP Senate leaders seem interested in reaching a deal. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked to describe a border security agreement he'd support, he replied, "I'm for whatever works that would prevent the level of dysfunction we've seen on full display here the last month and also doesn't bring about a view on the president's part that he needs to declare a national emergency."

House and Senate conferees include Reps. Nita Lowey, Lucille Roybal-Allard, David Price, Barbara Lee, Henry Cuellar and Aguilar of California and Senators Richard Shelby, Shelley Moore Capito, John Hoeven, Roy Blunt, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin and Jon Tester. The lawmakers will meet at 1:30 p.m. ET

First published on January 30, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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