Senate Republicans float one-week stopgap

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other members of his conference floated several proposals Monday to avoid a government shutdown, including a one-week stopgap spending measure. 

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Senate Republicans have also proposed accepting House-passed legislation that would ensure members of the military continue to receive pay if the government shuts down.

“Despite the Democrats’ refusal to work with the House to solve the problem, Republicans are working to protect the troops, prevent a shutdown and find solutions to the difficulties caused by Senate Democrats’ delays,” said Michael Brumas, a spokesman for McConnell.

The Senate Republican cloakroom blasted an email to GOP lawmakers Monday about the possibility of making continuing appropriations for members of the military.

Senate leaders would need unanimous consent from the chamber to approve a one-week stopgap before the midnight deadline, when government funds expire.

House Republican conservatives might balk at the plan because it would allow the implementation of ObamaCare to begin Oct. 1, when the new law’s open-enrollment period begins.

“There are a number of options Senate Republicans are talking about,” said a GOP aide. “a one-week [continuing resolution], locking in military pay. If Democrats insist on a shutdown, let’s pay the military.”

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), a Tea Party Republican who has led the effort to link defunding ObamaCare to the stopgap, was recently undecided about how he would react to a one-week stopgap.

“I’d have to think that through under the totality of the circumstances if we had something like that,” he said Friday.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) mocked the GOP idea.

“What about five minutes? Maybe they want to send us a 3 1/2-minute CR? Grow up and just step up to the plate,” said Boxer.

Boxer argued that Democrats made a significant concession when they agreed to the funding levels passed by the House.