Rand Paul holds up spending bill vote as government shutdown draws near

Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen Rand Paul tells reporters he plans to vote against a GOP bill that would repeal and replace most of former President Barack Obama's health care law on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Adam Beam)

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As Republican’s Democratic leadership moved to pass a congressional budget deal late on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) decided to throw a wrench in the works.

For a vote to be held on the spending bill, there must be consent among all senators to move forward. Paul wants to add an amendment to the bill that would make Congress adhere to strict budget caps that the current agreement does away with.

Under Senate rules, if Paul doesn’t give his consent for a vote on Thursday, a vote without consent could occur early Friday morning at 1 a.m.

Paul’s camp insists his request isn’t unreasonable. “All Senator Rand Paul is asking for is a 15-minute vote on his amendment to restore the budget caps,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in a statement. “He is ready to proceed at any time.”

RELATED: Rand Paul calls for automatic cuts if Congress can’t reach budget deal

Sen. Paul has been outspoken about what he sees as reckless spending in the bill, and opposes increased military and domestic spending proposed by Senate leaders in both parties. The current Senate bill would exceed budget caps by $300 billion over a two year period.

Weekly Standard reporter Haley Byrd asked Paul adviser Doug Stafford is the senator planned to “hold firm on his demand to leadership for a vote on an amendment to keep budget caps in place.”

“Hell yes,” Stafford replied.

Disclosure: I co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Sen. Rand Paul.

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