“Are we really going to ask [constituents] to wait patiently … while another supercommittee gets together and has a conversation?” Murray said. “That doesn’t make sense.”
Lawmakers are now at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for a week. They are also working against an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit.
Treasury and the White House have warned that, if the limit is not lifted, the government could default on its debt, leading to a recession.
Murray offered “a path forward” Wednesday and asked for unanimous consent that once the House passes a “clean” CR, a conference committee on the budget would be formed between the House and Senate. That was the 21st time Senate Democrats have requested a budget conference only to be denied by Republicans. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) objected.
Senate Republicans have expressed concern that, if raising the debt ceiling were part of a budget conference report, Democrats would be able to pass it with a simple majority rather than requiring 60 votes.
It's unclear where the fight will go from here, with both sides digging in for the first government shutdown since 1996.