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Rand Paul. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul is speaking on the floor of the Senate about what he considers wasteful government spending, and blocking a vote on a bipartisan spending deal. He's expected to hold the floor midnight, meaning the government is likely to shut down for at least some period of time.

Where things stand: The White House has warned agencies to prepare for a shutdown, while members have been told to “prepare for late night or early morning votes.” While the Senate has the votes to pass a deal now, or early Friday morning when Paul cedes the floor, things are less clear cut in the House where Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have said they'll oppose any deal that doesn't include protections for Dreamers.

  • What the spending deal does: Raises spending limits for both domestic and military spending, funds health care programs and disaster relief, suspends the debt limit for a year and extends some tax breaks. "The cost of those provisions exceeds $560 billion," per the Post.
  • What Paul wants: A vote on an amendment that would keep spending caps where they are, rather than raising them.
  • What Pelosi wants: She told Democrats in a closed-door meeting to "use our leverage" because Republicans don't have the votes to pass a deal without them.

Next steps: Senate votes beginning around 1 a.m., followed by votes in the House. This process could still be ongoing by breakfast time on the East Coast.

The big question: How will House Democrats vote? Republican leadership doesn't know, and that means the bill may have the votes — or it may not.

If you're keeping score at home: The government will have remained open for a whopping 17 days following the last shutdown.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

49 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.