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Conservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown 

A growing number of Senate conservatives are coming out against the mammoth government funding bill as Congress barrels toward the third potential shutdown of the year.

Several GOP senators announced on Thursday that they would oppose the measure, blasting it as wasteful spending that will blow a hole in the deficit.

"Government by last minute, take-it-or-leave-it spending bills with no time for debate or amendments allowed. This is no way to run a government," Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Utah) said in a Facebook post.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Shelby endorses Shalanda Young for OMB director should Biden pull Tanden's nomination MORE (R-Texas), a perennial "no" vote on spending matters, announced in a statement that he would also oppose the measure.

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“The disastrous elements of this bill are almost too numerous to list," he said, adding that it was "drafted by the swamp in the dark."

The bourgeoning opposition isn't expected to sink the measure. But it underscores the division within the Republican Party when it comes to spending.

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordOvernight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: 'No meaningful experience' Missouri newspaper hammers Hawley and Blunt: 'Embarrassment to the state' MORE (R-Okla.) called the more than 2,000 page bill "another symptom of Washington’s sickness" and "no way to govern."

“Washington has reached a new low. ... This is beyond pathetic. It is irresponsible, and a danger to our Republic," said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Perdue's statement came hours after he told reporters that he was undecided on whether or not he would oppose the bill, noting it includes additional defense funding. 

Congress has until midnight Friday to pass the legislation and prevent a third government shutdown in as many months. 

But when the Senate could act remains unclear as leadership struggles to win consent from every senator, which is required if they want to speed the vote up.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary MORE (R-Ky.) has perhaps been the most vocal opponent to the spending bill.

He spent his day Thursday tweeting his progress in reading the legislation, while most lawmakers were in the dark on whether he would hold up a speedy vote on the measure.

"Shame, shame. A pox on both Houses — and parties. $1.3 trillion. Busts budget caps. 2200 pages, with just hours to try to read it," he said toward the beginning of his tweet spree.