The Senate raced to pass a $1.3 trillion government funding bill early Friday morning at the final hours before a pending government shutdown. However, this was only after a last-ditch effort by Senate conservatives to curb the excessive spending almost derailed the effort.
The Senate passed the massive spending measure easily, by a vote of 65-32. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed.
Rand Paul worked overtime to modify and stall the bill, arguing that the levels of spending contained within were unsustainable, dangerous and wasteful.
Senator Jim Risch, another fiscal hawk demanded last minute meetings with Majority Whip, John Cornyn and McConnell over his concerns with the bill.
After the vote, Risch declined to disclose what he discussed with the two Senate GOP leaders. It got heated. “No. What part of no don’t you understand?” he told reporters between high stakes votes. “Do I have a problem with my English? I don’t have any comment.”
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), asked how the circumstance was settled, seemed to pivot to watch that Risch, who had quite recently strolled by, was never again behind him.
Blunt said “whatever was in the bill” was remaining in the enactment.
“You know my opposition to the bill still remains strong … [but] I just don’t have enough votes to win,” he said. “It’s about trying to determine how we can best get our message across.”
As Paul was addressing correspondents, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) came up behind him and appeared to facetiously influence a stifling to the movement as she strolled by.
Paul’s day of work came after he indicated in a tweet and Fox News appearance after 8 p.m. that he would enable the vote to occur.
Officials noticed that the bill, at last, had the votes to pass, enabling the chamber to leave for a two-week break on Friday as booked.