Blunt, No. 5 in the Senate Republican Conference, said the short-term extension missed a chance to cut spending.
“The debt ceiling, combined with opening the government, gave us at least an end date on when it was likely we could bring these discussions to conclusion,” Blunt said on a conference call.
Blunt added that the shutdown is overshadowing the GOP's main goal, defunding the Affordable Care Act.
"The President had as difficult an August and early September as any president, second-term president, could have and we figured out how to change the subject," Blunt said on the call.