Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow votes on House Democrats’ effort to vote to reopen the federal government, an effort McConnell has said is dead on arrival without President Donald Trump’s support.
“Well, I can’t speak for Sen. McConnell, but I would like to see him bring the House-passed bills to the Senate floor,” Collins told NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “We could reopen much of government where there’s no dispute over issues involving certain departments like Ag[riculture] , Transportation, Housing, Interior. Let’s get those reopened while the negotiations continue.”
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a funding package to reopen all shut down parts of government through September except the Department of Homeland Security, for which they separately passed temporary funds to reopen the department while the debate continues over Trump’s demand for border wall funds.
McConnell has pronounced both bills dead on arrival in the Senate without Trump’s support, but Sens. Collins and Cory Gardner (R-CO) both said the Senate should consider funding the government without Trump’s desired wall money.
“I’m not saying their whole plan is a valid plan, 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 Thursday, per The Washington Post.
Collins added Sunday: “To be fair to Sen. McConnell, the fact is that unless Chuck Schumer and Speaker Pelosi agree, and the President agrees to sign a bill, we can pass bills but they won’t become law. So that’s why I understand the point that Sen. McConnell is making about these important negotiations that are, in fact, ongoing.”
Collins: "I can't speak for Sen. McConnell, but I would like to see him bring the House-passed bills to the Senate floor." pic.twitter.com/zix2ca4VWk
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 6, 2019
H/t The Hill.