Collins says Senate should consider bills to reopen government

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A go-fund-me campaign reported earlier this week that almost $20 million has been collected from private donors for a wall, far short of the $5.6 billion demanded by the president.

"The impression you get from the president is he would like to not only close government, build a wall, but also abolish Congress, so the only voice that mattered was his own", Pelosi said in an interview with "CBS Sunday Morning" host Jane Pauley. We have to build a wall, we have to build a barrier.

As Democrats prepare a flurry of investigations into the conduct of Mr. Trump and the ties between Russian Federation and his presidency and campaign - and as much of the Democratic base and some of the members of the House Democratic caucus clamour to begin impeachment procedures - the fraught relationship between the White House on the one hand and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on the other is infected by a fresh brawl over immigration.

The US government shut down on 22 December after Democrats refused to provide $5.6 billion in next year's budget to build a wall on the southern border as Trump has demanded.

"Many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I am doing", Trump said on Sunday. "We have to have border security".

The Trump administration responded by deploying active duty military personnel to the border to assist US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

"This is a very important battle to win, in terms of safety, number one, defining our country, and who we are", Trump said.

The president described the situation at the border with Mexico as a "crisis".

A migrant from Honduras pass a child to her father after he jumped the border fence to get into the US side to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico. He said Trump was willing to forgo a concrete wall for steel or other materials.

The possible concession, which comes days after Trump had floated a barrier of steel instead of a concrete wall, came even as a top official warned that the shutdown, now in its third week, could "drag on a lot longer".

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Trump's recent remarks about a possible emergency declaration appear to reiterate remarks he made days ago at a January 4 open press conference in the Rose Garden. He also asserted: "I want to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security!"

"The Senate will not waste its time considering a Democratic bill which can not pass this chamber and which the president will not sign", McConnell said Wednesday on the Senate floor.

And when someone asked if that was a threat to Democrats, Trump stated: "I never threaten anybody".

Meanwhile, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) confirmed that Trump does have the authority to call a national emergency on the grounds of border security.

Trump says he's still mulling declaring a national emergency to try to circumvent Congress.

"Well, I hope so, but the fact is he's said it again and again", Pelosi answered.

Republican Susan Collins of ME wants the Senate to take up House-passed bills to re-open the government.

"As we've said for the past several weeks, we're looking and exploring every option available that the president has", she told Fox News.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American ever to be elected to Congress, made news earlier in the day when she took her oath of office using Thomas Jefferson's Quran.

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