Senators rush to avoid partial shutdown

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Senators are rushing to avoid a partial government as the clock winds down.

Things are slowly moving in the Senate, but it is still unclear if enough Republicans are ready to rally behind the multibillion-dollar price tag.

“Why in the world would we want to shut down,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Senators spent Friday scrambling to pass a bundle of bills to avoid a partial government shutdown at midnight.

“I hope my Republican colleagues will work with us,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Democrats are calling on Republicans to stop delaying a vote.   The $460 billion package would keep agencies like the departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Transportation funded through September.

It will also boost funding for WIC.

“So, moms and babies will not be denied nutrition assistance,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash).

But conservatives, like Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, are protesting the price tag.

“This bill is an insult to the American people,” Paul said.

They are demanding drastic spending cuts down to the wire.

“We shouldn’t be wasting money,” said Scott.

The bill faced similar push back in the House, but ultimately passed with bipartisan support earlier this week.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) pointed to spending cuts at the EPA and FBI as Republican wins.

“Cuts to some of the agencies we believe are really overreaching,” Johnson said.

Senator Patty Murray says the package represents a compromise.

“This isn’t the package I would have written on my own,” Murray said.

When and if lawmakers manage to pass this package, they face another government shutdown deadline March 22nd.  That bill which includes defense funding is expected to face less pushback.

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