Matt Knoedler, Washington - The deadline to prevent another government shutdown is now just eight days away.

As lawmakers scramble to reach a deal before Feb. 15, both Republicans and Democrats are drawing up competing plans that could eliminate shutdowns altogether.

“I can tell you there is no appetite in Congress to go through that again,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Under a pair of new plans floating through the U.S. Senate, lawmakers might not have to.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) penned legislation that would automatically renew funding for government agencies that remain unfunded by Oct. 1. The catch? Government spending starts getting cut by 1 percent if lawmakers don’t reach a deal.

Toomey and Portman are among the 33 Republicans who are backing the bill that does not have a Democratic co-sponsor as of Thursday. It’s currently the most-supported plan in the Senate to prevent future shutdowns.

The idea is to make shutdowns less of a political weapon and ensure federal workers aren’t caught in the middle of the legislative process.

“There would still be plenty of incentive to do the appropriation bill that should be done,” Toomey said during a news conference Tuesday. “But you would never have the danger of a shutdown because you would have this automatic funding mechanism in place.”

Critics argue that this plan could lead to significant spending cuts. Those one-percent cuts wouldn’t kick in until 120 days after the would-be shutdown first starts. That window is nearly four-times as long as the 35-day shutdown that ended earlier this month. Further, the bill calls for additional one-percent cuts for every 90 day period after that the government remains unfunded.

“I think it’s an interesting idea to get different ways to ensure that… the government does not shutdown,” said Brent Woolfork, the director of government affairs at the Center for American Progress in Washington, a left-leaning think-tank.

Woolfork is not too concerned about the threat of budget cuts because of that wide window. However, he points to previous examples of forced budget cuts, such as federal budget sequestration in 2013, that have proven ineffective as a bargaining chip to bring lawmakers to the table.

Instead, Woolfork believes the idea of doing nothing by next Friday, plus the ripple effect that a second shutdown in just three weeks could have on government workers, are the biggest threats.

“That kind of uncertainty, particularly for federal workers living paycheck to paycheck, is a big concern,” he said. “So, I think you do have to look at and consider those issues.”

Across the aisle, Senate Democrats are drawing up a similar plan, but it would not call for those scheduled budget cuts. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is sponsoring a bill that would also provide an automatic continuing resolution; it would also not cover spending for the executive office of the president and the legislative branch until a deal is reached.

Portman’s and Warner’s proposals have garnered the most support in the Senate as of Thursday.