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Senate votes to end government shutdown

Government Shutdown Looms
Government Shutdown Looms 01:37

At midnight the federal government shut down for the second time in two weeks, after government funding expired, after Sen. Rand Paul held up the vote for as long as he was able to under Senate rules. For a brief period, the moment, the Senate adjourned in the 11 p.m. hour -- just until 12:01 am Friday, February 9. 

The Office of Personnel Management issued guidance to federal workers after midnight, noting the "lapse in appropriations."


Soon after 1 a.m. Friday, the Senate began a procedural vote on the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government and the budget agreement. It passed with bipartisan support, 73 - 26. Sixty votes were necessary for it to advance.

The Senate then passed the final bill, 71-28. Only a simple majority was needed.

The measure now goes to the House of Representatives, where the outcome is less certain. A vote could come in the early morning hours.

The Senate bill would raise the spending caps on defense and domestic spending by $300 billion over the next two years. It also includes $90 billion for disaster relief funds for areas hit by hurricanes and wildfires. The measure provides funds for infrastructure and to fight opioid abuse. The deal also includes an extension of the debt ceiling through March 1, 2019. The agreement doesn't include any language regarding "Dreamers." 

In Seoul, just before departing for the Olympics in Pyeongchang, Vice President Pence was optimistic that the shutdown would be short-lived, CBS News' Jacqueline Alemany reports.

"We frankly are grateful for the bipartisan efforts made to reach the two-year budget deal and to separate that from the contentious issues of immigration," Pence said. "And we're very hopeful that in the hours ahead we'll have the budget passed and move forward with the kind of funding for our military and domestic needs in the long term."

On the Senate floor Thursday night, Paul railed against his own party for allowing greater spending, deficits and ultimately debt. Paul railed against government spending on everything from Afghanistan to misspent funds diverted from school lunch programs, saying both parties are "spending us into oblivion." 

"How come you were against President Obama's deficits, and then how come you're for Republican deficits? Isn't that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty?" he demanded.

A frustrated Senate Majority Whip, John Cornyn, R-Texas, said at 10 p.m. he didn't understand why his colleague was holding up the vote when it would not change the outcome. 

Paul explained in an interview with Fox News Thursday afternoon why he blocked the vote on the measure: he objects to the inclusion of the bipartisan budget deal to lift spending caps. He demanded that GOP leaders allow a 15-minute vote on an amendment he crafted to maintain current spending ceilings, but the Republican leadership did not seem inclined to give him that vote. 

"I'm not advocating for shutting down the government. I'm also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute," Paul said on Fox News.

Paul said that he had spoken to President Trump Thursday afternoon about the situation.

'I talked to him this afternoon," he said. "We had a good conversation. I told him to call up the majority leader, Senator McConnell, tell him that I wanted 15 minutes to have a vote to make a point that conservatives are unhappy with this deal. All they have to do -- I told him this at 11:00 a.m. this morning -- give me 15 minutes to debate, 15 minutes to vote and we could have been done by noon. But nobody wants to have it pointed out what an eye sore this deal is and how obnoxious it is to conservatives to spend good money after bad."

Paul had said he's willing to hold up the vote and shut the government down over his demands.

"We'll see. If they want to stay up until 3:00 a.m., I'm happy to do it for the fiscal solvency," he said.

Congress is aiming to prevent a government shutdown on Friday by passing a new spending bill by Thursday at midnight. The House had already voted on a short-term funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), earlier this week that also expired March 23, but provided a boost in funding to the Pentagon through September.

The measures will not provide a fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Nor will they increase border security or provide funding for a southern border wall.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, announced they had reached a bipartisan two-year budget deal that doesn't fund the government, but lifts spending limits imposed on the military and non-defense domestic programs. The deal raises those caps, which were set by a 2011 law, by about $300 billion through fiscal 2019, which ends Sept. 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced on the floor Wednesday that she will oppose the budget deal unless Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, commits to holding a floor vote on legislation that would protect so-called "Dreamers."

CBS News' John Nolen and Alan He contributed to this report. 

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