Lawmakers are at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for more than two weeks. They are also working against an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit. 

The Treasury Department and the White House have warned that if the limit is not lifted, the government could default on its debt, leading to a recession. 

Senate leaders were close to a deal that would have ended the shutdown, funded the government through Jan. 15 and raised the debt ceiling until February. But the House announced its own plan Tuesday with modifications.

The House bill would delay ObamaCare's medical device tax and scrap healthcare subsidies for members of Congress and top Cabinet officials, among other provisions. Democrats immediately rejected the proposal.

Mikulski said if the government doesn’t pay its bills, it would be a “deadbeat nation.”