Lawmakers tasked with reaching border deal to meet Wednesday
© Stefani Reynolds

A bipartisan, bicameral committee tasked with hashing out an agreement on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding will meet for the first time this week. 

Lawmakers will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a notice from the House Appropriations Committee. 
 
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It will mark the first time the panel has met since Congress passed a three-week bill to reopen the government and kicked the fight over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall to the conference committee. The continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress would fund approximately a quarter of the government through Feb. 15, setting up another deadline to avoid a second partial government shutdown.
 
The 17-member panel is facing an uphill battle to break the months-long stalemate between President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE, who wants $5.7 billion for a wall, and congressional Democrats. 
 
Democrats had previously offered money for fencing, but will be under pressure to take a hard line after the president agreed to reopen the government with no border wall funding.
 
Trump, meanwhile, has floated declaring a national emergency to construct the wall if lawmakers can't get a deal. 
 
Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoFormer VA staffer charged with giving seven patients fatal insulin doses Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (R-W.Va.) said Monday that there were already behind-the-scenes talks happening "quite actively" about how to get to a deal and predicted that a final agreement would include money for "physical barriers."
 
"I think it's important that we have that. The size of it is probably where the biggest bickering would be, but I think there's enough Democrats that support this," Capito, a member of the conference committee, told WV MetroNews. "I don't think this is going to be easy, but I don't think it's impossible." 

The Senate Appropriations Committee cleared a bill last year that would provide $1.6 billion for the border, including approximately 65 miles of pedestrian fencing. Capito added on Monday that the Senate bill should be a starting point for the conference committee. 

"My bill that was passed in June is a good starting-off point. It has a lot of really good, bipartisan, already agreed-to items," she said. 

The Senate also voted down two proposals last week, including a measure backed by Trump that would have traded $5.7 billion for the border wall in exchange for letting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and some temporary protected status holders apply for a three-year extension of protected status.