McConnell open to bill to prevent future shutdowns

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Jon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he is open to legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns. 

"I don't like shutdowns. I don't think they work for anybody and I hope they will be avoided. I'd be open to anything that we could agree on on a bipartisan basis that would make them pretty hard to occur again," McConnell told reporters less than a week after the last partial shutdown ended. 

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The Senate GOP leader added that federal funding lapses were an example of "government dysfunction" and they should be "embarrassing." 

A growing number of senators say they would support legislation that would prevent future government shutdowns by automatically creating a continuing resolution (CR). But there are competing proposals in the Senate, with Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocratic senator accuses White House of blocking election security legislation Democratic senator accuses White House of blocking election security legislation Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (D-Va.) both introducing legislation. 

Portman's proposal would reduce funding by 1 percent after 120 days and again every subsequent 90 days if lawmakers haven’t reached a deal. Warner's would withhold funding for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President in an attempt to motivate lawmakers to negotiate.

Congress faces another deadline to prevent a partial shutdown on Feb. 15. The 35-day funding lapse, which ended on Friday, was the longest in U.S. history and sparked considerable frustration on Capitol Hill. 

But the idea of automatically creating a CR ran into backlash from prominent House Democrats on Tuesday. 

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe case for congressional pay raises Approve USMCA before it's too late Lawmakers push to permanently ban automatic pay raises for members of Congress MORE (D-Md.) told reporters that he was "reticent" about legislation that would take Congress out of the decisionmaking process.