Lawmakers haggling over border dollars much lower than Trump's demand

Lawmakers seeking a deal on border security that would avert a second partial government shutdown are haggling over figures below President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE's demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border.

Republican negotiators are pushing for $2 billion or more in funding, while Democrats say they hope the figure will not go above $1.6 billion.

Just as important are specifications for how funds can be spent, with Democrats pushing for specific restrictions on what kinds of barriers could be built and where.

“I want the highest possible number we can get, but I would hope it would be north of” $2 billion, said Rep. Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannCongress seeks to avoid new shutdown: Five things to watch On The Money: Negotiators discussing border funding lower than Trump's demand | Amazon reconsiders HQ2 move to New York City | Early IRS numbers point to smaller average refunds Bipartisan House group heads to Camp David retreat MORE (R-Tenn.), a conferree on the bipartisan negotiating committee.

A bipartisan Senate bill last year included $1.6 billion in funding.

Lawmakers face a Feb. 15 deadline to reach a deal and are working through the weekend to try to get one in place by Monday, which would give the House and Senate enough time to pass a bill before funds for parts of the government would run out.

Trump has largely allowed talks to proceed unimpeded, but negotiators are concerned that he will dismiss the final result as insufficient.

At that point, they worry, he could allow the government to shut down for the second time this year, or declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build the wall using other funds.

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs GOP offers support for Trump on China tariffs MORE (R-N.C.), who has Trump’s ear and previously encouraged him to shut down the government over the wall issue, said the current state of negotiations was discouraging.

“The details I’m hearing about are not things the president should sign,” he said.

Other subjects under discussion include funding for detention beds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Democrats are seeking to limit the number of beds as a step toward phasing out family detentions.

The sides are also debating how much funding to provide for Puerto Rico as part of a disaster relief bill included in the measure.

The final spending number may not be as important as the details over how the funds can be spent, Meadows said.

"If the final proposal is too restrictive, I would be more inclined to encourage him to do a clean CR and do the national emergency, but again, it’s the details," Meadows said of Trump, referring to a continuing resolution that would simply extend 2018 funding levels through the end of the year.

The status of negotiations is expected to come up at Camp David Friday evening, where acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyActing DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Trump knocks Mulvaney for casting doubt on chances of infrastructure deal MORE is convening a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including three of the conferees and several Budget Committee members.

Some Democrats worry that the White House will blow up the negotiations.

“Of course it’s a possibility,” said Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthBudget chairs pick former Bush official to head CBO Dem leaders feel squeeze on Trump strategy Dems say NYT report on Trump's business losses boosts need to see president's tax returns MORE (D-Ky.), chairman the House Budget Committee, who will attend the meeting. “In a rational world it would all be fine. In a rational world it would be easy. We’re not in a rational world.”

Democratic negotiators say they are reviewing the latest offer Republicans sent over on Thursday night, and expect to respond tonight. Though conferees have not yet scheduled another meeting for the weekend, staff negotiations are expected to continue.

Most negotiators were planning on staying local in the event of a breakthrough. Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarPro-business Dem group sees boost in fundraising Left flexes muscle in immigration talks Immigration groups press for pairing Dreamer benefits with border security MORE (D-Calif.) said he was flying home for his son’s 13th birthday party on Saturday, but would return immediately on Sunday so he could sign a deal if it is reached.

Many negotiators expressed optimism that a deal could be reached, but Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerOvernight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military Democrats advance spending bills boosting EPA, defying Trump House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill that limits border wall efforts MORE (R-Texas), when asked if she shared that optimism, replied, “Not so much.”

“We’ve still got some time. We’ve asked for the weekend,” she added.

-Scott Wong contributed