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 PortmanGOP senator wears shirt honoring Otto Warmbier at Korean DMZ On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism' The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday 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 RoundsGOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump On The Money: Wells Fargo CEO steps down | Trump vows to keep funding for Special Olympics | House panel approves marijuana banking bill | Controversial Fed pick gains support in Senate Controversial Fed pick gains support in GOP Senate 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBoth sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 Elijah Cummings: 'I am begging the American people to pay attention to what's going on' Angus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' MORE (D-Calif.) and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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 — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Collins backs having Mueller testify Graham says he's 'not interested' in Mueller testifying MORE (R-Maine) said after a meeting with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed License to discriminate: Religious exemption laws are trampling rights in rural America MORE (R-Ak.).

—Molly K. Hooper