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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

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.