Key GOP senator: Shutdown could last for the 'long haul'

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThis week: Congress set for next stage of Mueller probe fight Five takeaways from Trump's budget Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump unveils 2020 budget | Calls for cuts to NIH | Proposes user fees on e-cigs | Azar heads to Capitol to defend blueprint | Key drug price bill gets hearing this week MORE (R-Ala.) warned reporters on Thursday that the partial government shutdown could last for the "long haul” with no clear way out in sight.

"I'm thinking we might be in for a long haul here. ... A long haul, in other words, I don't see any quick resolution to this," Shelby told reporters.

Shelby separately told reporters that the shutdown could last for "months and months." 

ADVERTISEMENT

The partial shutdown, which is impacting roughly 25 percent of the government, is already in its 13th day as Congress and the White House are stalemated over funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE's U.S.-Mexico border wall. 

"My personal preference [is] we already would have had all these bills done as you well know. ... Right now, let's see what happens. At the moment things don't look good, as far as reaching a resolution," Shelby added. 

Lawmakers are bracing for a lengthy shutdown, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Senate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote MORE (R-Ky.) saying on Wednesday that he hoped to get a resolution in the "coming days and weeks."

Congressional leadership, including McConnell, met with Trump on Wednesday at the White House for a briefing on the border but made no progress toward an agreement. They are expected to meet again on Friday. 

House Democrats are poised to pass legislation later Thursday that would fully reopen the government. The package would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, while a second bill would fold in funding through Sept. 30 for the remaining six appropriations measures. 

But McConnell is pledging that he will not bring up that legislation for a vote because it does not have Trump's support. The Senate previously passed legislation to fund part of the government through Feb. 8 but got caught flatfooted when the president said he wouldn't support it. 

"Let me say this again, the Senate will not take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature," McConnell reiterated on Thursday.