GOP Sen. Rick Scott says ‘it’s up to the Democrats’ whether a government shutdown can be avoided

‘It’s up to Democrats’ if there is a government shutdown: Republicans accuse left of playing ‘politics’ with federal funds as Congress scrambles to find a deal in less than two weeks

  • Congress must reach a deal to fund the government by December 16 or risk a partial shutdown that could leave workers unpaid and agencies without cash
  • Last week it appeared as if Democrats and Republicans were working toward a 12-month ‘omnibus’ spending bill but those talks seem to have been derailed
  • A growing number of GOP lawmakers are pushing for a stop-gap spending bill that would push the discussions for federal funding into early next year
  • The House of Representatives will be controlled by Republicans at that point
  • ‘I don’t want a government shutdown, I don’t think any of us do, but we shouldn’t be passing a Pelosi-Schumer spending bill,’ Sen. Rick Scott told DailyMail.com
  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville complained of how long it’s taking for any kind of a draft to surface: ‘I’m not used to this, kind of running on the seat of our pants’
  • Sen. Roy Blunt told DailyMail.com he’s ‘optimistic’ but noted ‘every day matters’ 

Republican senators indicated to DailyMail.com on Wednesday that they are frustrated with the pace of negotiations aimed at keeping the government open, as the December 16 deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown looms just over a week away.

Last week it appeared that Democrats and Republicans would work together for a year-long ‘omnibus’ spending bill to keep agencies open and federal workers paid.

But conservatives have called on GOP leaders to shift gears and pass a short-term resolution that would punt discussions over a longer funding bill into early next year – when Republicans control the House of Representatives.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was confident about a bipartisan 12-month bill last week, but backpedaled to say discussions were at an ‘impasse’ after his caucus’s weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday.

If they fail to come to an agreement, the federal government will run out of funding next Friday.

‘It’s up to the Democrats. The Democrats can make that decision, they’re the ones that [have control of Congress]’ right now,’ Florida Sen. Rick Scott told DailyMail.com at the US Capitol on Wednesday.

‘I don’t want a government shutdown, I don’t think any of us do, but we shouldn’t be passing a Pelosi-Schumer spending bill.’

Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, meanwhile, accused Democrats of playing ‘politics’ with federal funding legislation. 

Florida Senator Rick Scott told DailyMail.com after his Wednesday press conference on federal spending: 'I don't want a government shutdown, I don't think any of us do, but we shouldn't be passing a Pelosi-Schumer spending bill'

Florida Senator Rick Scott told DailyMail.com after his Wednesday press conference on federal spending: ‘I don’t want a government shutdown, I don’t think any of us do, but we shouldn’t be passing a Pelosi-Schumer spending bill’

Republicans have argued that passing an omnibus bill before the year is up will solidify left-wing spending priorities in a year where voters chose to take control of half of Congress away from Democrats. 

‘There’s an understandable desire on the part of the incoming members – and especially on the part of those who elected them – that you’re not going to have spending decisions made by the outgoing Congress that was just voted out of office and out of control of the majority,’ Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee said during a Wednesday press conference.

Some GOP senators did not outright oppose a 12-month funding bill, but expressed frustration at the lack of any draft proposal.

‘I don’t think we’ll have a shutdown. It just depends on what kind of [continuing resolution] we’re gonna have – a short term or long term, and we’ve got…to get the top line of the bill. We hadn’t we hadn’t seen that yet,’ Tuberville told DailyMail.com.

He complained that Congress’ year-end spending priorities ‘should have been done’ before the second-to-last week of their session.

‘It’s used for politics. That’s what the American people hate,’ Tuberville said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats are pushing for an 'omnibus' spending agreement to keep the government funded for 12 months

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats are pushing for an ‘omnibus’ spending agreement to keep the government funded for 12 months

‘I’m not used to this, kind of running on the seat of our pants, and that’s what we’ve been doing.’ 

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana avoided stating whether he’d prefer a short-term bill or a year-long resolution, pointing out to DailyMail.com that no proposals have been put forth so far.

‘I mean, it’s- there’s so many variables. It’s hard to answer the question without knowing the variables,’ the Louisiana Republican said. 

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he was ‘optimistic’ that some kind of a deal can be reached to avoid a shutdown but noted the clock was ticking.

‘We’re getting closer to the point that we might not be able to get this done,’ Blunt told DailyMail.com. 

‘I’m still optimistic, but every day matters.’

Senator Tommy Tuberville complained on Wednesday of not having seen any kind of funding draft plan, despite the looming deadline: 'I'm not used to this, kind of running on the seat of our pants, and that's what we've been doing'

Senator Tommy Tuberville complained on Wednesday of not having seen any kind of funding draft plan, despite the looming deadline: ‘I’m not used to this, kind of running on the seat of our pants, and that’s what we’ve been doing’

Last week Congressional leaders met with President Joe Biden at the White House, where they began talking about the possibility of passing a bipartisan omnibus spending bill to last all of next year.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time that there was ‘widespread agreement’ on the need for a 12-month funding bill – but backpedaled on Tuesday amid growing pressure from the right wing of his caucus.

‘We’re at a pretty significant impasse,’ he began. ‘With regard to government spending, time is ticking. we’ve not been able to agree on a topline yet.’

He said it was ‘becoming increasingly clear’ that a short-term funding bill ‘until early next year’ was more viable than a year-long package.

‘We are running out of time and that may be the only option left that we can agree to pursue,’ McConnell said.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested on Fox News Monday night that McConnell needed to delay spending negotiations until Republicans control the House next year.

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