“I just don’t quite understand the strategy or the play of leverage for a mandate that’s been stayed by 10 courts,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “I want the vaccine mandates lifted, but I don’t think the [spending bill] is the tool to do it. For all practical purposes the mandates weaken every single day.” Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), as conservative as they come, said that, while she wants to defund vaccine mandates, she’s going to trust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to strategize: “My gut tells me, let leadership do the best they can and trust them.” “I think we’re going to be ok,” McConnell said as he entered the lunch. But it’s not all up to McConnell, who often faces challenges from his 50-member caucus on issues of debt and spending. Because of the fast-approaching deadline and the procedural hoops in the Senate, any one senator now has the power to object to a spending bill and push it over the shutdown line on Friday evening. Lee and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are among the senators that support that strategy. Marshall preemptively blamed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for not accommodating his efforts and said “it makes more sense to just include it” in the spending bill. “I’m supporting what Sen. Lee and Marshall are doing," Johnson said. All 50 GOP senators currently support rolling back Biden’s mand . . . read the full article here.