© 2024 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Maine's Congressional Delegation Relieved To See End To Shutdown, But Say The Worry Isn't Over

J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, heads to the Senate floor prior to a vote on ending the partial government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says the deal to temporarily end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history should prod congressional leaders and President Trump to negotiate in good faith over border security.

"That we will work to hammer out a compromise on border security, so that we are not facing the same situation again on Feb. 15," Collins says.

Collins's remarks from the Senate floor came shortly after the government funding deal was announced.

Collins was one of six Republicans who voted with Democrats Thursday to approve bills to temporarily reopen the government without funding the president's border wall. She also supported a separate Republican bill that would have provided some funding for the president's border wall, a vote that Democrats argued would reward Trump for using the government as leverage for a campaign promise he can't fulfill.

Reacting to President Trump's announcement that he and Congressional leaders had reached a deal to temporarily reopen the government, independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says the president made a grave mistake, and he hopes the president won't try it again if negotiations don't go his way over the next three weeks.

"I hope that he's noticed what happened during this period,” says King. “A lot of people were hurt, a lot of damage was done to the economy and he hasn't gained much ground politically."

King also hopes the president doesn't attempt to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the short period that he and Congress have to negotiate on border security.

Similarly, Democratic U.S. House Rep Jared Golden says he's glad that President Trump and congressional leaders have reached a deal, but he's also frustrated that it took 35 days and caused financial hardship for 800,000federal workers. Golden says the deal reached Friday essentially brings the President and congressional leaders to the same place they were before shutdown began.

"Government needs to work better than this. We can't be having 30-day shutdowns on a rolling basis here," Golden says.

U.S. Rep Chellie Pingree is welcoming the deal, but she also says the shutdown came at a heavy cost to federal workers, some of whom were forced to work without pay or take out loans to pay their bills. Pingree also says she hopes the funding compromise, which is essentially the same proposal that failed to win approval in the Senate on Thursday, will allow congressional leaders and the president to focus on border security.

"Hopefully get the president off this mean-spirited talk about who's on the other side of that border and just the sort of garbage that comes out of his mouth sometimes that isn't appropriate to this negotiation," she says.

Both Golden and Pingree say that Republicans and Democrats largely agree on border security measures and that Trump's shutdown tactic was unnecessary.

Originally published Jan. 25 at 5:04 p.m. ET.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.