Senate Republicans who are less than impressed with the inter-party turmoil playing out in the lower chamber are laying out their own strategy for how to keep the government funded and open, and it involves Democrats.
Senate Republicans speaking to The Hill said a clean continuing resolution is likely to first come out of the Senate and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will need to strike an agreement with Democrats in the 11th hour to get it passed, bypassing the roughly 10 Republican hardliners who are refusing to budge on a stopgap spending bill.
The clock is ticking down to the Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
"Sooner or later [McCarthy is] going to have to go to [House Democratic Leader] Hakeem Jeffries because we're going to get a CR on this side and what will pass here just is not going to get 218 Republicans in the House," The Hill quoted a GOP senator who remained anonymous.
The failure of House Republicans to advance a defense appropriations bill on Tuesday sent alarms through the upper chamber.
"The defense appropriation bill is sort of the heart and soul of the Republican Party that I've come to know and love, and it's unnerving to see the defense appropriations bill not able to advance," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told The Hill.
However, two of the Republicans who blocked the defense bill Tuesday have since said they will change their position on the procedural vote to advance it.
Further, the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed an alternate deal late Wednesday night that extends government spending at current levels through Jan. 11, 2024, a plan that would need Democrat support in the House to get through.
The latest resolution discussed in the GOP conference Wednesday would extend funding through Oct. 31 but come with discretionary spending cuts and HR 2 border security, which is akin to wasting time, according to Senate Republicans.
"The ultimate outcome will be 218 Republicans and Democrats [who] will pass something that doesn't have conservative leaning to it," Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told The Hill.
Regardless, McCarthy is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's already been threatened with a motion to vacate the chair by House hardliners, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who insist on major spending cuts to any spending bill and are not interested in a continuing resolution.
And leaning on Democrats for the votes would come with its own cost.
"If somehow Democrats are asked to be helpful, it's not just going to have to be out of the kindness of our hearts," Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., told CNN. "If Kevin [McCarthy] can't govern with just his part — which clearly he can't — and he wants to have a conversation with us about how to do that, we are going to have a policy conversation."
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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