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Sen. Chris Coons said Monday that President Donald Trump's shift from insisting on a concrete wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to a steel slat barrier marks a "minor but important" step towards compromise on solving the ongoing government shutdown. Coons (D-Del.), in an interview with Fox News's "Fox & Friends," urged the president to stick with his proposal, made to Democrats over the weekend alongside additional funding for other needs at the southern border. The lawmaker called the idea “a minor but important difference in technology,” with the caveat that Trump has at times been inconsistent in his demands and rhetoric on the issue. The shift, Coons said, is "progress" towards the end of a government shutdown on the part of the White House. Trump's demand for a physical barrier on the nation's southern border has led to lapse in funding for wide swaths of the federal government, shutting much of it down for the last 17 days. Democratic leaders have thus far been insistent that they will not appropriate any money for Trump's border wall, which he had initially promised would be paid for by the Mexican government. As evidence of the president's shifting border security demands, Coons noted that just two weeks ago, Trump shot down departing chief of staff and former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s insistence in an interview that the White House had moved away from a concrete wall early in Trump's administration. “A fourth century concrete wall that you can't see through will be a less effective border barrier,” Coons said Monday, noting that the president is seeking additional wall funding even as his administration has yet to exhaust money already appropriated by Conrgess. “I am someone who is willing to see more border fencing as long as we choose a technology that DHS says is going to be effective and I do think his moving towards steel slats rather than concrete wall, if it holds, is important.” The Delaware Democrat was also critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his lack of involvement in funding negotiations. McConnell has insisted that Trump negotiate with Democrats to solve the funding impasse and that his chamber will not take up any legislation that does not have the support of the president. He also said that Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency to unlock military resources for building a barrier on the southern border would quickly be challenged in court, and that the better path forward is “to reach a responsible compromise here that recognizes our broken immigration system needs to be resolved and we need to invest in border security.” Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine]]>