US government shuts down for second time
Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) The US federal government officially shut down on Friday for the second time in three weeks after a single senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, held up a vote on a far-reaching budget deal that would have staved it off.
Senators are still expected to vote in favour of the deal in a series of votes that will most likely begin around 1 a.m., reports The New York Times.
If the House approves the deal, the government would have reopened before the workday begins.
Angered at the huge spending increases at the centre of the deal, Paul, a Republican, delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would keep in place strict caps on spending that the deal would raise.
“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Paul said.
“I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?'”
The shutdown comes on the heels of a three-day closure brought about by Senate Democrats last month, The New York Times reported.