Congress is fast approaching an end-of-the-month deadline to fund the federal government as dysfunction on Capitol Hill threatens to bring about a shutdown.
The more bipartisan Senate appears keen to avoid such a fate.
"I am still hopeful that we'll be able to get through it," Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.
But the GOP conference on the House side is looming as a major challenge.
Time is running short to pass full year government funding bills by the end of September, but lawmakers can pass a short-term patch known as a continuing resolution to fund the government while lawmakers figure out a longer term plan for the rest of the upcoming fiscal year.
Even that route could prove difficult in the House, where Republicans' narrow majority is a near-constant challenge for leadership.
"We're just going to keep working with every single Republican member and try to keep doing the job that we've been doing," House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota said during a news conference.
Asked if he was confident House Republicans would be able to fund the government by the end of the month, GOP Rep. Brad Finstad responded, "I'm confident that we're going to work hard every day."
Worries across the aisle are clear, however, given some Republicans from other states embracing the potential of a shutdown.
The American people deserve better leadership than what they're seeing from House Republicans, said Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum, who serves on the appropriations committee.
"Our job is to legislate, not to agitate," said McCollum, the lead Democrat on the defense appropriations subcommittee.
Yet House lawmakers' first day back on the hill in September for floor votes was overshadowed by GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's announcement of an impeachment inquiry into Democratic President Joe Biden. That effort has the support of Minnesota's four GOP members — Finstad, Emmer, Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber — but is being strongly derided by Democrats.
Republicans have long talked about cutting spending, and the government funding debate offers them the chance to try and do that. But Democrats hold the White House and run the U.S. Senate, ensuring the left has plenty of influence in the funding fight. That power means pressure for Democrats as well though.
"I'm quite worried," Democratic Sen. Tina Smith said of a potential government shutdown. "It seems that the Republicans in the House are completely incapable of doing their job."
House Republicans have a mixed record of legislative success and failure less than one year after taking back control of the U.S. House.
"When we come back, we're not going to leave," McCarthy said during a news conference on Thursday. "We're going to get this done. Nobody wins in a government shutdown."
It took 15 rounds of voting for McCarthy to win the speakership in January, stalling the chamber for days. Several months ago, McCarthy and Biden were able to reach a plan that avoided debt-ceiling chaos. Yet when the bill came to the House floor, more Democrats voted for it than Republicans. Soon afterwards, business on the House floor froze when a small minority of GOP members thwarted a procedural vote and stalled the chamber over their concerns.
Republicans are likely to be tested again in the debate over government funding with shutdown worries mounting in Washington.
"We want to make sure that the government is fully funded and we get our jobs done," Stauber said.
House Republican leaders postponed plans to try and advance their party's defense appropriations bill on the floor the week of Sept. 12, underlining the struggles happening within their conference.
"We should be funding our government, full stop, not taking it hostage in order to launch a politically motivated impeachment crusade against the President of the United States," Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said in a statement.
Passing a continuing resolution would stave off the threat of a government shutdown in the short term, but lawmakers would still face the challenge of passing longer-term appropriations bills into law.
"The last thing I want is a government shutdown," Democratic Rep. Angie Craig said. "So I'm rooting for the Republican caucus to find a way to at least be able to get a continuing resolution to the House floor."