An agreement to avert a government shutdown is near “impossible” unless Republicans drop policy riders from a funding bill, leading Senate Democrats said Thursday.

“Unless they back off those riders it’s going to be impossible, pretty much, to prevent a shutdown,” said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Congress should build on the momentum from spending bill Corker won’t campaign against Democrat running for Tennessee Senate seat MORE (D-N.Y.), the party's messaging chief, following a caucus meeting.

Democrats throughout Thursday have characterized the riders to strip federal funds for Planned Parenthood and parts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the key sticking point in negotiations on a spending measure to fund government the rest of the fiscal year.

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The government would shut down after midnight Friday barring action by Congress.

Schumer and Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHannity, Kimmel, Farrow among Time's '100 Most Influential' The Hill's Morning Report: 200 Days to the Election Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination MORE (D-Ill.) both said Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism Dems to party: Go on offense with Trump’s alleged affairs MORE (D-Nev.) had offered standalone votes on the riders in the Senate, only to be rebuffed by House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP Lobbying World McCarthy courts conservatives in Speaker's bid MORE (R-Ohio).

“Harry Reid offered that to BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP Lobbying World McCarthy courts conservatives in Speaker's bid MORE,” Durbin said. “We're going to make this offer, and we have.”

Republicans have denied that the riders are the main sticking point, as well as Democratic claims that a basic agreement on spending had been reached.

“Maybe a promise could be made to let all those riders come up for a vote separately,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). “I think there's a willingness in this caucus to have that be offered.”

House Republicans who insist on including those riders in the current spending fight likely realize that the most controversial provisions, such as the Planned Parenthood and EPA measures, would likely fail in the Senate. That chamber’s rules would require 60 votes to surpass procedural obstacles.

Democrats are mindful of that.

“They know their riders can't pass the Senate,” Schumer said.