McConnell open to bill to prevent future shutdowns

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach 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 PortmanTrump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics Budget process quick fixes: Fixing the wrong problem Why Republicans are afraid to call a key witness in the impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan senators urge national security adviser to appoint 5G coordinator Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president 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 HoyerTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown House passes stopgap as spending talks stall MORE (D-Md.) told reporters that he was "reticent" about legislation that would take Congress out of the decisionmaking process.