GOP senator floats stopgap bill amid shutdown fight
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus Murkowski pushes Mnuchin for oil company loans MORE (R-Alaska) on Friday floated the possibility of passing a stopgap bill to fully reopen the federal government while lawmakers negotiate over President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE's border wall request.

Murkowski said she and other GOP senators have been considering the president's funding request as a supplemental appropriations bill, but that the government shouldn't be shut down during the fight over the border wall.
"Maybe we can get a short-term reprieve. Let's do a short-term CR to allow us to process this, but let's not keep the government shut down while we do this," Murkowski said from the Senate floor, referring to a continuing resolution (CR).
While emphasizing that she supports "strong borders" and border security, Murkowski added that "shutting down the government is not governing. Nobody is winning in this."
Her remarks come a day after the unraveling of negotiations among a group of Senate Republicans, including the Alaska senator, to link an immigration fix to Trump's border request. As part of the talks, GOP senators had discussed moving the president's request — including an additional $7 billion the administration asked for over the weekend — through the Appropriations Committee while allowing most or all of the government to reopen.
She said Friday that what she was hearing from Alaskans was "keep us secure, protect our borders" but also "go to work, stop arguing about who's winning and let's get the government open."
"Let's do what we need to do when it comes to ensuring the security of our nation and our borders," Murkowski said. "Let's navigate those issues but let's not hold hostage good men and women who are working hard to keep us safe every day through the basic functions of government."
The moderate GOP senator is one of a handful of Republicans who have publicly raised concerns about the strategy of keeping the government partially shuttered over Trump's demand for border wall funding.
She told reporters earlier this week that the six funding bills unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security should be passed while Congress and the president fight over border funding.
And she warned Trump during a closed-door lunch this week that the shutdown is having an impact on industries in her state that depend on federal regulation, such as fishing.
The partial funding lapse, which began Dec. 22 and is impacting roughly a quarter of the government, is poised to become the longest shutdown in modern history with Congress leaving town on Friday with no plans to return until next week.
A group of GOP senators, including Murkowski, introduced legislation earlier Friday that would prevent future government shutdowns by creating automatic continuing resolutions for any appropriations bill not passed by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.