WASHINGTON — President Trump met on Tuesday at the White House with Attorney General William P. Barr and key Republican lawmakers in an effort to resolve a fight in Congress over domestic spying powers before three F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation tools expire next week.
The meeting came as a range of surveillance critics on Capitol Hill — from liberal advocates of civil liberties to conservative allies of President Trump who have been critical of the Russia investigation — were seeking to restrict the F.B.I.’s authorities. They want to attach changes to legislation to reauthorize the three provisions run out on March 15.
No clear resolution came out of the meeting, according to congressional officials briefed on it. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, and Mr. Barr made a case for passing a bill that would simply extend the expiring provisions without changes, relying on rules changes Mr. Barr could make on his own.
But several House Republicans pushed for a bill that would impose sharp new limits on national security wiretapping — and Mr. Trump appeared to be more sympathetic to the idea of a sweeping overhaul, too, according to the officials. Mr. Barr met afterward with some of those House lawmakers, including Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, to discuss such restrictions, according to two administration officials.
It is far from clear, however, whether any legislation that makes substantive changes to surveillance law can pass both chambers before March 15.
Other voices at the meeting, like Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued for a short-term extension of the expiring provisions — such as for a month — to permit time to draft a bill. Mr. Graham noted that the expiring tools were different than the wiretapping in the Russia investigation that Mr. Trump and his allies widely denounced.
But for that to work, Mr. Trump would need to sign any extension into law. The president has a history of volatility on surveillance issues, responding to Fox News commentators but displaying little grasp of the legal policy details of national security surveillance. Mr. Barr has stepped in to float the idea that he could tighten many rules on F.B.I. wiretapping on his own.
Further, some longtime libertarian-leaning members of Mr. Trump’s own party — including several who attended the meeting, like Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky — want to seize the moment to install more sweeping changes through legislation.
Disagreements among Democrats over whether proposed changes go too far or not far enough have already derailed legislation in the House, and the determination of some would-be reformers to capitalize on the window of opportunity created by the deadline heightened the possibility of an impasse allowing the tools to expire without any overhaul.