Collins: Senate should vote on funding bills passed in House

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ 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 McConnellSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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.