Mitch McConnell

Senate Republicans are determined to prevent a government shutdown, cautioning fellow lawmakers about the potential political fallout that could arise from such an event, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said on Monday.

"We're not going to allow the government to shut down," McConnell told reporters on his way to the Senate chamber, as per The Hill.

McConnell reiterated his stance on the Senate floor, urging colleagues to take action to avoid unnecessary disruptions to crucial sectors. He stressed the negative impact on agriculture, transportation, military construction, and essential services at the Veterans Affairs (VA) if a resolution is not reached by Friday.

"Shutting down the government is harmful to the country. And it never produces positive outcomes—on policy or politics," McConnell stated.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), the Senate Appropriations Committee vice chair, acknowledged the remaining "substantive" differences between Democratic and Republican negotiators. She expressed hope for progress in negotiations but highlighted challenges in determining the specific plan for moving agreed-upon conference reports and bills within packages.

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney dismissed the idea of some in Congress wanting a government shutdown.

Mulvaney told The Hill, "I've described the shutdown mania, as there are people on the Hill who want to shut down, they want to make the point they want to have that battle, and then you end up not having a shutdown because things tend to fall apart."

"It's the exact opposite right now. I don't know that many people on the Hill who really are, you know, sort of itching for a shutdown."

The lack of progress was evident on Monday, with Congress showing no signs of advancing spending bills to avoid a partial government shutdown in just five days. The situation has led to a new week of political chaos over funding and aid to U.S. allies.

Top Democrats and Republicans are scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden on Tuesday to discuss aid to Ukraine and Israel and efforts to avert a shutdown.

As the government faces funding deadlines on March 1 and March 8, lawmakers are grappling with the challenge of passing appropriations bills. Despite McConnell's assurance, differences persist between Democrats and Republicans on funding priorities. The disagreement centers on Democratic demands for a foreign aid package and the GOP's insistence on border security measures.