Rand Paul doesn’t rule out delaying government shutdown vote

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday did not rule out slowing down passage of the stopgap spending bill that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) proposed over the weekend.

Paul, a vocal opponent of spending bills that don’t include cuts, left the door open to slowing down the process and argued that House Republicans should proceed on a different track than they are.

“I haven’t decided,” Paul said when asked if he will slow down passage of the potential continuing resolution (CR). “I haven’t seen it and I haven’t decided yet.”

“I’m not really for any CR that doesn’t reduce spending,” Paul said, pointing to the U.S.’s borrowing and debt numbers. “So I won’t be for any type of CR that doesn’t cut spending.”

“My advice to the Speaker is he’s going to have a tough time too unless he gets Democrats to vote for it, which most of the rest of the Republican caucus isn’t that excited about it,” Paul said. “They should put together a conservative CR that cuts spending [and] send it over here. The Democrats will put something together that’s less conservative, and then they should compromise.”

If the House passes Johnson’s two-pronged, laddered bill and it has more than 60 votes in the Senate, Paul would be unable to stop the bill himself but could delay its passage.

In order to expedite passage, senators would likely try to reach a deal on how long to debate the measure, which would give Paul an opening to hold things up.

Paul did as much in 2018 when he caused a brief shutdown by delaying a final vote on a bill to fund the government after then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to give him an amendment vote.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) earlier Monday said that he was “pleased” with how Johnson is moving on the bill, which is a clean continuing resolution that funds four bills through late January and the remaining eight until early February.

McConnell also added that the bill is a “responsible measure that will keep the lights on” and that he is encouraging Senate Republicans to back it.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.