Confusion spreads in GOP: ‘There’s plates spinning everywhere’ (Video)

House and Senate Republicans have found a new obstacle in the government shutdown and debt-limit fights: each other.

GOP lawmakers from both chambers are expressing confusion and frustration with how their colleagues across the Capitol are approaching talks with the White House, with many thinking their respective camp should be in the lead.

"There's plates spinning everywhere. Everybody's now trying to work on this," said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a member of House GOP leadership. "It's just confusing to try to figure out what's the deal that's actually getting traction."

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Some Senate Republicans emerged from a lengthy meeting with President Obama Friday arguing they should now be in the GOP driver's seat in talks with the president, particularly because they disagree with how House Republicans have handled the government shutdown.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (R-Maine) is crafting a Senate GOP plan to raise the $16.7 trillion borrowing cap and bring an end to the government shutdown. Her plan would repeal the medical device tax and give federal agencies more flexibility to handle sequester cuts.

Collins presented that plan to the president Friday, and he did not immediately rule it out.

The meeting also showed that Senate Republicans are not in the loop on what the House is negotiating, as they spent much of the time pressing Obama for details about the House’s plan.

House Republicans have put forward a plan to boost the debt limit but are demanding fiscal negotiations with the president on ending the shutdown. The precise details of the plan are under wraps.

The uncertainty of the talks is frustrating Senate Republicans, who want the crisis resolved as soon as possible.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAuthorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient Republicans jockey for position on immigration McCain, Flake warn against 'politically-motivated penalties' for Canadian defense firm MORE (R-Ariz.) said he thought Senate Republicans should cut a deal with the White House, since House Republicans did not have a concrete plan to end the shutdown and stop the bleeding in the party’s poll numbers.

“I don’t know in what world we are faring well under the shutdown, either in terms of policy or politics,” he said.

House Republicans are well aware of the risk that they’ll get rolled by the Senate.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE (R-Ohio) warned his House GOP colleagues Thursday that they must act first on a plan to raise the debt limit and reopen government before the Senate moves any compromise deal.

John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE said House Republicans “have to strike first because otherwise the Senate will jam us," according to Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.).

House Republicans learned that lesson the hard way in late 2011 when the Senate passed a temporary payroll tax holiday and left town, forcing the House to ultimately accept it.

Republicans in both the House and Senate insist the House needs to be in the lead this time, especially since there will be no compromise signed into law if House Republicans do not back it.

"I think the bottom line is, let's see where the discussion goes between the White House and House leadership, because that's going to really determine the pathway in the long run," said Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyControversial House Republican gains national attention after filming Auschwitz video Democrats, Republicans must work together to advance health care Lobbying World MORE (R-La.).

"Given divided government … whatever is proffered, if it can't pass the House, it's not going to sell," said Sen. Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDon’t throw the baby out with the BATwater Overnight Cybersecurity: DHS bans agencies from using Kaspersky software | Panel calls Equifax CEO to testify | Facebook pulling ads from fake news Mueller investigation focusing on social media's role in 2016 election: report MORE (R-Ind.).

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDurbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration Overnight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement MORE (R-S.C.) said the House has the right idea with its plan.

"I see the House is much more serious about putting together a package to open up the entire government and make changes to ObamaCare to lessen the pain," Graham said.

But other Senate Republicans expressed confusion more than anything else about the House approach, which saw multiple tweaked offers come over the last several days, and scant details about what they entailed.

Asked if she backed the House plan, Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteDems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Trump voter fraud commission sets first meeting outside DC MORE said she wasn't exactly sure what it was.

"I'm not sure what their plan is. I would need to know what it is," she said.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.) said Friday he also was befuddled by the House GOP's strategy.

In the final stretches of past battles with the White House, Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.), have taken a dominant role in the crafting an agreement.

But facing a tough reelection race, McConnell has adopted a much less visible role this time around, leading to a scramble of sorts to figure out who picks up that mantle.

A reliable ally of GOP leadership, Boustany noted that congressional Republicans were "definitely more effective" when the House and Senate were on the same page.

"I think that seems to be a problem lately," Boustany said.

Lankford agreed, saying Republicans would undoubtedly have more leverage if they presented a united front.

"You know what, that would be great. Wouldn't it?" Lankford told reporters. "But that's not where we're at."

But Republicans offered optimism that at some point, cooler heads would prevail, and they would meet up on a common path.

"What you want to do is sync up Senate Republicans and House Republicans, and Democrats. I think we’re on our way now,” said Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerDeficit hawks voice worry over direction of tax plan The Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Overnight Finance: White House requests B for disaster relief | Ex-Equifax chief grilled over stock sales | House panel approves B for border wall | Tax plan puts swing-state Republicans in tough spot MORE (R-Tenn.).

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGun proposal picks up GOP support House bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Republicans jockey for position on immigration MORE (R-Texas), the Senate Republican whip, was seen entering Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office late Friday.

 “Just call me Solomon,” he told reporters as he entered.

— Russell Berman and Molly K. Hooper contributed.