Senators look for possible way to end shutdown

GOP senators are working with several Democrats on a letter to send to the White House to call for “serious negotiating” to end the partial government shutdown, Ohio Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate investigation finds multiple federal agencies left sensitive data vulnerable to cyberattacks for past decade Senate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams MORE (R) told reporters on Wednesday.

One possibility is for the letter to call for the government to be re-opened for three weeks to allow for talks on border security.

But senators have not agreed on the contents of the letter yet.

“There's a frustration on the part of a lot of members because a lot of us came in to get things done and we find ourselves in a position where there are two sides that are saying absolutely we will not agree on anything,” Sen. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsHouse panel advances bill to create cybersecurity standards for government IT devices The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa August recess under threat as yearly spending bills pile up MORE (R-S.D.), one of the senators involved in the talks, said Wednesday.

He said he may sign on to a letter with “some alternatives” that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Lawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (D-Calif.) and President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE “could consider.”

One letter “right now that I'm considering that would say open the government for three weeks but with a firm commitment from a number of members on both sides that they would seek to find common ground in an expedited fashion — that would respect the president’s demand for border security and barriers — and, at the same time do it in an expedited fashion,” Rounds said.

A number of senators have expressed frustration at the continued shutdown, which is in its 26th day.

“Shutdowns are never a good idea – they are not justified for any reason at all – I am sympathetic to strengthening our security at the border – but shutting down the government is not the way to achieve that goal,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns Stephen King: 'It's time for Susan Collins to go' MORE (R-Maine) said after a meeting with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Overnight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ak.).

—Molly K. Hooper