The Senate Conservatives intend to oppose the immediate consideration of a plan to extend funding until early next year if Democrat leaders don't agree to deny the funding required for the mandate. The sources explained Politico's Playbook.
The Senators believe they'll be able to delay the process until past midnight Friday when the funding for the mandate would formally end.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told Politico in an announcement that while he's certain the Senators would all like to "simplify the process" to resolve the continuing resolution, he "can't facilitate that without addressing the vaccine mandates."
"Given that federal courts across the country have raised serious issues with these mandates, it's not unreasonable for my Democratic colleagues to delay enforcement of the mandates for at least the length of the continuing resolution," Lee went on.
It was not clear how many of the Senate's Conservatives wanted to follow through on the threat of shutting down the government. Still, in early November, 15 Conservatives signed a letter, led by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., to "use all means at our disposal" to block the passage of any lasting resolution that doesn't stop the vaccine mandate.
Because of Senate rules asking for unanimous consent to move the CR through quickly, just one Senator is required to object to going past the Friday midnight deadline.
In the meantime, the House Freedom Caucus voted Tuesday night to pressure Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to take a more hard-line stance on the lasting resolution unless Democrats pull the funding to implement the vaccine mandate, according to sources familiar with the matter.
"There is leverage immediately in the Senate, and we think that House Republicans ought to be backing up any number of Senate Republicans … to use all procedural tools to deny the continuing resolution passage Friday night unless they restrict the use of those funds for vaccine mandates," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Politico.
Even if a bipartisan agreement is reached by the end of the day Wednesday to extend the funding, a shutdown could still take place, reports Politico. The Senate needs at least five days to process the continuing resolution, meaning that a shutdown could take place and end Sunday. If a deal isn't struck Wednesday, the shutdown could proceed into next week.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was already blaming Republicans in the event a shutdown takes place. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that "nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown."