Sen. Rand Paul sets to block budget vote

Sen. Rand Paul is holding up a vote on the Senate budget deal, demanding more debate on the bill which will add $1.5 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. Lawmakers are facing a midnight deadline to pass the legislation.

Congressional negotiators were scrambling earlier Thursday to lock in enough votes in the House, and that was before Paul, a Republican, made public his dissatisfaction with the deal, which would raise government spending, avert a government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling.

A senior administrative official said the White House is instructing agencies to begin shutdown preparations in the event that Congress fails to pass a budget before the midnight deadline.

Paul is pushing for an amendment to maintain budget caps, but Senate sources say leaders have no plan to give Paul such a concession, meaning that he can continue to prevent a vote until after midnight, when government funding runs out. He criticized his own party for reckless spending.

"There is probably a lot of blame to go around for the Republicans who are advocating for this debt," Paul to CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. "But I would say, really, primarily, this is coming from Congress. Leadership in Congress in both the House and Senate has decided to move forward. But the funny thing is you know so often in the media we hear 'we want you to work together.' They are are working together but working together to spend a ton of money."

The Senate is currently scheduled to vote to end the debate on the budget deal at 1 a.m. ET Friday. After that, it's unclear how all of this will unfold.

With a shutdown only hours away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to set up a vote on the budget deal beginning at 6 p.m. But Paul objected.

McConnell pleaded with senators to accept a procedural vote and allow the Senate to move a deal that President Donald Trump backs.

"The president of the United States supports the bill and is waiting to sign it into law. I understand my friend and colleague from Kentucky does not join the president in supporting the bill," McConnell said. "It's his right, of course, to vote against the bill. But I would argue that it's time to vote."

And passage in the House isn't a sure bet either.

Opposition from GOP conservatives is forcing Republican leaders to lean on Democrats for votes even as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) digs in with immigration demands.

"Part of it depends on the Democrats," Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday morning on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt's show. "This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support."

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.