Only a few weeks after the last government shutdown ruined President Trump’s inaugural anniversary celebrations, it happened again. Congress was unable to pass a budget deal by its midnight deadline, and it recessed until shortly after that deadline would pass, which ensured that the shutdown was inevitable. The holdup this time came down to Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. However, by 5:30 am on Friday, the Senate voted to approve the budget deal, therefore ending the brief shutdown.
The former Republican presidential candidate purposefully held up the vote over increased spending, according to the New York Times, and he sternly waved the hypocrisy flag at his GOP colleagues:
Angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the budget deal, the senator delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would keep in place strict caps on spending that the budget agreement would raise.
“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Mr. Paul said. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?'”
Paul was, of course, joined by Democratic senators who opposed the bill for other reasons, including the lack of DACA protections. That’s what prompted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to deliver a record-setting speech on Wednesday, and since the Senate eventually passed the budget deal, Pelosi will likely soon be delivering another lengthy lecture.
As for Paul, he was quoted as saying, “I think the country’s worth a debate until 3 in the morning, frankly.” And the whole mess was settled by Friday morning, which was sort of remarkable, for this Congress is swiftly becoming known for its inability to pass anything of importance.
President Trump tweeted excitement after signing the bill: “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”