Collins: Senate should vote on funding bills passed in House

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCongress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE (R-Maine) said Sunday that she would support holding a Senate vote on bills passed in the House to reopen parts of the government unrelated to negotiations over funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE's wall along the southern border.

Collins said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that she understands Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Green New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire MORE (R-Ky.) is in a difficult spot because the president may not sign bills passed by the Democratic-held House, but pressed for a vote to reopen agencies like Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

"I’m frustrated in the situation that we’ve gotten to this point where both sides appear to be intransigent," Collins said. "It is not a sign of weakness to figure out a middle ground. I think that both sides need to indicate a willingness to listen and to compromise."

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Collins argued that Congress should pass appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year to avoid the threat of a shutdown being used as a political weapon.

Parts of the government have been shut down for 16 days and counting as Trump calls for $5 billion for his desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for border security, but have said they will not give money for the wall.

The two sides have remained dug in, raising the prospect of a long-term shutdown. Vice President Pence is set to meet Sunday with congressional aides, though Trump said he expects there to be "serious talks" during the week.

McConnell has said the Senate will not vote on the bills passed by the House unless Trump indicates he will sign them.

The House is set to vote this week on bills that would fund the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior and Housing and Urban Development.