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Corker warns against 'spiking the football'

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday cautioned against “spiking the football” on a budget deal, predicting a long slog ahead to convince the GOP conference to go along with any plan. 

He expressed embarrassment at members of his own party who waged a fight to delay or defund ObamaCare — saying it was doomed to failure from the beginning. 

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“To be candid, it is an embarrassment that we have spent all this time on a rabbit trail leading us to where we are,” he said. “Look, I may not be the best person to be interviewed this morning. We have a lot of work to do over the next three or four hours. There is a lot of tough sledding left.” 

Democrats and some Republicans have been highly critical of a segment of the GOP — led by Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Mike Lee (Utah) — who pushed to defund or delay ObamaCare as a part of a deal to fund the government. 

Three weeks into a government shutdown, a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling until early next year has rolled into a larger plan that would call for small ObamaCare changes and the formation of a conference committee to replace sequestration cuts.

The Senate GOP will meet later Tuesday to discuss the plan.  

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who had worked on a bipartisan budget deal, said she is more optimistic now that “the adults have taken over.”

“Not to criticize anyone, but the adults have taken over, and people who know that we need to get this country back working again,” she said on CNN.

In a joint interview with Corker, Heitkamp commended GOP leadership and Corker as Republicans who “speaks to people in the entire Senate,” not just those in the GOP.

“I know he is a little crabby this morning because he’s got a big lift ahead of him in talking with his caucus,” Heitkamp said of Corker.