VIDEO - “The next best move is for the President to agree to reopen the government and let us begin working. For us to have a meaningful conversation, we have got to reopen the government.”

Sen. Chris Coons  joined Fox & Friends to discuss the confirmation hearing for William Barr and the government shutdown.

“There is a whole group of us who are talking, but I will tell you the next best move is for the President to agree to reopen the government and let us begin working. I don’t expect the President to capitulate. I do expect him to compromise.

“You have got a Speaker of the House who is completely dug in. A President who is completely dug in and clearly there is going to have to be a compromise; we are not going to build a thousand miles of border wall. We all know that.

“It will be something less than that. And for us to have a meaningful conversation, we have got to reopen the government. This isn’t good for our safety as a nation. It’s not good for our prosperity,” said Coons.

On Barr:

Bill Barr is a seasoned, experienced, former Attorney General. He served in the administration of George H.W. Bush and he handled what was a very long day of questioning yesterday quite well. On the core issue of whether he will protect Robert Mueller’s independence and allow him to pursue his investigation to its conclusion, I was reassured and encouraged by his statements.

But, on three very specific things where I was asking for simple and clear commitments, he equivocated or hedged and said depending on the facts, and that had to do with whether he will be allowed to pursue whatever testimony he feels necessary without interference by the Attorney General, whether he will release the full final Mueller report, and whether or not he will seek and follow guidance from the DOJ Ethics Counsel. In all three of those cases, he gave a hedging answer.

I will have the opportunity to follow up in writing to ask follow-on questions and I will be looking closely for how Bill Barr answers those questions.

On the shutdown:

There is a whole group of us who are talking, but I will tell you the next best move is for the President to agree to reopen the government and let us begin working. I don’t expect the President to capitulate. I do expect him to compromise. You have got a Speaker of the House who is completely dug in. A President who is completely dug in and clearly there is going to have to be a compromise; we are not going to build a thousand miles of border wall. We all know that. It will be something less than that. And for us to have a meaningful conversation, we have got to reopen the government. This isn’t good for our safety as a nation. It’s not good for our prosperity.

More on the shutdown:

As you know, on Fox News Sunday, I said that I disagree that a border wall, that a border fence is immoral. It’s a piece of infrastructure. There are things about the President’s immigration policies I find immoral. But I think it’s important for those in the Senate who want to work together to end this shutdown to begin finding some middle ground.

But the important first step is the President has to reopen the government. Without that frankly, we have thousands, 40,000 federal law enforcement officers today working without pay and we’re putting people at risk. I have a close friend who works in aviation who said frankly, between TSA, FAA, NTSB, we are really straining the system.

I don’t see how this is conservative principle that we have got hundreds of thousands of folks not working who will get paid.