For the second time in one month, the US government will be shut down... if only for 3-6 hours, and potentially much longer.
As we explained earlier, a last minute Senate vote to approve the bipartisan "budget-busting, cap-lifting, debt-ceiling extending" two year budget deal is on hold at the moment as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul prevents its advancement. Furthermore, as discussed earlier, the White House has instructed critical agencies to begin shutdown preparations for a government shutdown should a deal not be reached before midnight when the funding lapse expires.
This now appears certain because as Bloomberg reports, according to House majority whip Steve Scalies, "At this point, we expect next votes in the House to occur at very roughly 3:00-6:00 a.m."
And since midnight is the deadline for a deal, that would guarantee at least a short U.S. government funding lapse, and potentially a protracted one if for some reason the scheduled vote is once again delayed.
As a reminder, uber-deficit hawk, Rand Paul has been pushing for an amendment to maintain budget caps, but Senate sources say leaders have no plan to give Paul such a concession, meaning that he can continue to prevent a vote until after midnight, when government funding runs out.
As we look at this debate, my hope is that both sides will come together and say, "Enough's enough. This is the time. Tonight I say no."— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 9, 2018
When the Senate eventually gets to a vote - some time on Friday morning, the measure will likely have enough support to pass. However, and this is where things get tricky, even if the Senate approves the legislation Thursday night, a suddenly divided House, where Nancy Pelosi's Dreamer stunt has stumped her Democratic colleagues, still needs to pass it and get it to President Donald Trump's desk.
In other words, today was bad for the market. Tomorrow could be much worse.