Sen. Susan Collins used a 'talking stick' during shutdown negotiations

Democrats balk at McConnell's shutdown offer

And Collins herself was responsible for the use of a "talking stick" during those negotiations, according to her office. Susan Collins whose office was being used for the negotiations, figured out a civil way to create discussion. Senators who wanted to speak, she told reporters, were only allowed to do so if they were holding a special stick.

"When you have more when you have more than 20 senators in a room, a lot of times people talk over each other and they're not really listening".

Senators from both parties failed to strike a deal last Friday to keep the government running.

"We have 17 days to show that the Senate as a whole can hammer out a compromise and move forward on a huge menu of issues that have been stalled", said Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat and member of the bipartisan group.

Democrats had initially balked at backing a spending bill without protections for young "Dreamers", who were brought illegally to the country as children.

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To resolve the federal government shutdown, Congress resorted to an ancient tool: a stick. Bob Corker, a GOP partipant said Monday.

Led by centrists Republican Sen. Susan Collins over several days and helped broker an agreement to pass a stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until February 8. "Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security". Heitkamp said a deal seemed within reach when it became clear McConnell was willing to offer a more concrete commitment to take up immigration legislation.

"There were no injuries, there were a couple close calls but everything worked out fine", another Republican senator said about the talking stick and the elephant incident.

She said that, "Today, we saw the power of the center of the U.S. Senate".

Yet negotiations on a host of issues including disaster relief for states hit by hurricanes and wildfires a year ago, domestic and military spending, and a deal on more border security and immigration remains ahead. That group dissipated after the government reopened, but King and others say the new effort has a chance to stick around.

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