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Rand Paul won't say if he will hold up spending bill

Sen. Rand Paul, who forced a brief government shutdown last month, won't say whether he will hold up the massive spen...

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 10:49 AM
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 10:49 AM

Sen. Rand Paul, who forced a brief government shutdown last month, won't say whether he will hold up the massive spending deal Congress is expected to unveil Wednesday, citing the lack of a bill.

"I'm undecided on what is unknown," Paul told reporters Wednesday, as the deadline for another government shutdown looms. "There is no bill."

The Kentucky Republican said it's "inexcusable" there's no legislation to look at this far into the process.

"How can people make a decision on bills that don't exist? So they need to put the bill forward and its inexcusable to have something they've had months to look at but there's no bill for us to look at," Paul continued.

Paul said on Tuesday he would not support the underlying bill when it comes to a vote.

"I will oppose the bill. I haven't made a decision yet on whether or not I will consent to time agreements," he said.

When the government shut down earlier this year over a previous spending bill, it was largely due to Paul holding up the Senate's vote in an effort to bring attention to the national debt.

"I can't in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits," Paul said on the Senate floor in February.

Paul later took to Twitter on Wednesday, where he questioned aspects of the expected bill.

"It's a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni...wait, what?" he wrote.

On Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke with President Donald Trump about the plan, which budgets $700 billion for defense and $591 billion for non-defense spending.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement for the White House in support of the plan.

"The President and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combating the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation's infrastructure," Sanders said.

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