Senate

GOP Sen. Collins shows support for parts of House-passed funding package

Stefani Reynolds

Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) signaled support for a plan that would reopen parts of the federal government through Feb. 8, breaking with President Trump’s hardline stance of no spending bill without $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Collins told the Boston Globe that despite the bill’s lack of a provision containing funding for the wall, that Republicans should have the opportunity to vote on it while accusing Senate leadership of holding the bill “hostage” over border security.

{mosads}Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed not to bring the bills to a vote unless he is sure the White House will support them.

“I’m not saying their whole plan is a valid plan,” Collins said of a House-passed funding measure. “But I see no reason why the bills that are ready to go and on which we’ve achieved an agreement should be held hostage to this debate over border security,” Collins said, according to the Globe.

Her comments were echoed by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who called on the Senate to punt discussions on funding for Trump’s wall until after the federal government is reopened.

“Congress needs to take further action on border security, but that work should be done when the government is fully open,” Gardner said.

Gardner and Collins represent two states Trump lost in the 2016 presidential election to Hillary Clinton, and have both called in the past for the government to be reopened while the Congress debates border security.

“It would be great to have them signed into the law because there is not great controversy over them. And at least we’d be getting those workers back to work,” Collins previously said on Thursday.

Trump’s battle with Congress over funding for the wall entered its 14th day on Friday, as roughly one-fourth of the federal government remains closed. The White House has threatened to veto any funding deal that does not provide roughly $5 billion for the president’s wall.

The president met with congressional leaders this week ahead of Thursday’s takeover of the House by the incoming Democratic majority, but no progress on a deal to reopen the government has been reported.

Tags Border wall Cory Gardner Donald Trump government funding Hillary Clinton Maine Mitch McConnell Senate Shutdown Susan Collins White House

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