Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the party’s leadership, told CNN that leaders are trying to find a way forward that could potentially clear the path for a vote on the continuing resolution in the Senate tonight.
The House just passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 18. It’s now up to the Senate to pass it before the threat of a government shutdown Friday at midnight.
“I am told they are trying,” Blunt said.
Blunt said nothing is locked in, but there is an active discussion to see if it would be possible to vote on a few amendments and the credit bill this evening, so that lawmakers could leave town for the weekend and avert a government shutdown.
Blunt said the two senators holding up this process are still demanding a vote on their amendment to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate on businesses at a 50-vote threshold, but Republicans don’t have 50 members here. In other words, the amendment would have virtually no chance of passing. It’s not clear Democrats would allow the amendment to come up even if it couldn’t pass.
Other GOP senators are echoing Blunt’s comments that it is possible the Senate will vote tonight to keep the government funded.
Sen. Roger Marshall said he expects the Senate to vote tonight on the House-passed resolution along with a vote on his amendment to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate on businesses at a 50-vote threshold.
“I think we’re going to get our amendment at a 50-vote threshold and what the vote count is going to be, I think we’re still counting votes,” he said.
“I think it’s this evening,” he added, when asked if he thinks the Senate will vote tonight on the bill. “I think that’s why everyone’s sitting around and standing around here still.”
Sen. Ted Cruz said he thinks it looks promising for a vote this evening.
“I don’t think the details are finalized yet,” he said, noting he doesn’t know what the vote threshold for the vaccine amendment would be.
Three GOP senators were absent for the latest vote making it even harder for Republicans to get the simple majority that they would need to succeed.