Collins predicts lawmakers will agree to barriers, 'but not to the degree' Trump wants

Collins predicts lawmakers will agree to barriers, 'but not to the degree' Trump wants
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Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senate panel clears controversial Trump court pick Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump MORE (R-Maine) said Sunday that she believes Congress can reach an agreement on "physical barriers" for the border, but "not to the degree the president has requested."

"I think what will happen is that the efforts to continue to build physical barriers, which have gone on in the last two administrations, will continue, but not to the degree the president has requested," Collins said on "Face the Nation" on CBS.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE has maintained that the U.S. needs to build a wall along the southern border, while Democrats have refused to back funding for such a barrier.

Collins suggested that lawmakers should speak with "nonpartisan experts," like individuals with Customs and Border Protection, to determine what is most needed.

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The president last Friday signed a bill to fund the government for three weeks. The measure did not include money for a wall along the southern border, but provided the opportunity for a bipartisan conference of lawmakers to negotiate border security funding.

The decision marked a sharp reversal for Trump, who triggered a partial government shutdown over his demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding, and insisted for the previous 35 days that he would not cave on the issue in the face of Democratic opposition.

Collins said the best case result for the coming weeks of funding discussions would be legislation that addresses border security and that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year. 

"We cannot have the threat of a government shutdown hanging over our people," she said. 

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Swalwell: Depositions provided evidence of an 'extortion scheme' Intelligence panel Republican: 'How we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future' MORE said on "Face the Nation" that Trump is willing to shut down the government again next month if he doesn't get a deal to his liking. The president has also suggested he may declare a national emergency to direct construction of the wall, though such a move would likely spur legal challenges.