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

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyBlack Hawk pilot shot down in Somalia jumps into Alabama Senate race Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Senate Democrats unveil remaining spending bills, teeing up clash with Republicans 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 TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly 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 McConnellMcConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats insist budget consensus close as talks drag on Manchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks 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.