Republicans divided over shorter stopgap funding bill

Republicans divided over shorter stopgap funding bill
© Greg Nash
A push to pass a shorter stopgap funding bill is dividing Senate Republicans as Congress barrels toward a government shutdown.
Some rank-and-file members are throwing their support behind a days-long or potentially up to two-week continuing resolution (CR), arguing negotiators are close to an agreement but need more time.
Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Tenn.) described lawmakers as on the "10-yard line" on a range of issues — including immigration, budget caps and a package of health-care bills — that could be resolved in a "short period of time." 
"Probably be longer than four days and not as long as 30 days," he said, describing the amount of time he thinks negotiators need, after being asked if he would support a shorter funding bill.
The Friday comments come after Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGraham: Bipartisan infrastructure pay-fors are insufficient This week: Democrats move forward with Jan. 6 probe Bipartisan senators ask CDC, TSA when they will update mask guidance for travelers MORE (R-Kan.) pitched a days-long CR both at the Wednesday GOP lunch and publicly to reporters Thursday. GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamEight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats MORE (S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (Tenn.) have also backed the idea. 
Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters the administration wants a four-week continuing resolution. 
The House passed a four-week bill Thursday, funding the government through mid-February. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (D-N.Y.) floated a days-long "very short-term" bill on the Senate floor Thursday night.  

But GOP leadership has yet to publicly support the idea, arguing there is one offer on the table — the House bill — and Democrats can either support it or decide to shut down the government.
"You know the only proposal out there is the one that the Democrats are going to have a chance to vote on, which is one month. I think they're feeling a little nervousness because they've kind of gotten out over their skis," Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division Federal officials abroad are unprotected — in a world of increasing volatility MORE (R-Texas) said when asked about Murkowski's proposal.
Asked if Republicans were opposed to any continuing resolution aside from a month-long plan, he added "that's the only thing we have to vote on right now."
Pressed separately about a days-long continuing resolution, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden MORE (S.D.), the No. 3 Republican, said "I just don't know what that gets. ... I think there's too many moving parts here." 
Asked about a two-week CR, Thune asked, "Has that been offered?" 
Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games MORE (R-Ark.), a key ally of Trump's in the Senate, also downplayed the need for a back up CR proposal, arguing the House bill would have the votes on final passage. 
"How is it logical to go from a 30-day CR to a 10-day CR or a four-day CR?" he asked. "I support what the House passed yesterday." 
Instead, Senate Republicans are expected to press forward with the House bill. They'll need 60 votes to end debate on the bill. With most Democrats, and a group of Republicans, opposed they are expected to fall short. 
What happens if that bill fails remains unclear. 
"I think the reality is that you can't get anything done in a real short period of time, but I think there's probably some thought that there's got to be some middle ground," he said.