Collins, McCain and Portman are eager to take matters into their own hands. | AP Photos
They have been sitting out the budget impasse that led to the government shutdown — and only been a spectator in the bitter battle between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.
But some uneasy Senate Republicans are eager to take matters into their own hands.
Moderates like Susan Collins of Maine, conservatives like Rob Portman of Ohio and deal-makers like John McCain of Arizona have quietly begun to reach out to top Senate Democratic leaders to see if they can help break the political logjam. There’s no indication the informal talks will lead to a resolution, particularly since the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to negotiate before House Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government with no policy strings attached.