Conference committee will have until February 15 to reach agreement to avoid another shutdown
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — Congressional leaders have named eight Southerners to a 17-member conference committee that will try to come up with a border security compromise to avoid another government shutdown on February 15.
Six Republicans and two Democrats from the South were named to the joint House-Senate panel, which was set up to hash out an agreement after legislation to reopen the government passed on January 26.
The list of Senate conferees includes Richard Shelby of Alabama and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, both Republicans. None of the four Southern Democrats who serve in the Senate were selected.
On the House side, all four of the GOP conferees are from the South — Kay Granger of Texas, Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Tom Graves of Georgia, and Steve Palazzo of Mississippi.
Two Southern Democrats are among the six Democrats picked for the panel by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — David Price of North Carolina and Henry Cuellar of Texas.
The conference committee has seven members from the Senate (four Republicans and three Democrats) and 10 members from the House (six Democrats and four Republicans.)
All of the Southern members on the conference committee serve on either the House or Senate appropriations committee, which controls federal spending.
Shelby is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Granger is the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, which is controlled by Democrats.
President Donald Trump and congressional leaders agreed to reopen the government until February 15 in order to come up with a compromise on funding for border security.
Trump has asked for $5.7 billion to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, an idea which Democratic leaders oppose.