US Government Shuts Down For Second Time In A Month After Senator Rand Paul Holds Up Budget VoteRand Paul speaks during the Sunshine Summit conference. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) 

The US Government officially shut down early Friday morning 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, New York Times reported.

US Senators are expected to vote in favour of the deal in a series of votes that will most likely begin around 1am on Friday. The House will follow before daybreak, though the outcome in that chamber is less certain. If the House approves the deal, the government would reopen before the workday begins.

However, Paul, a Republican, will have made his point. Angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the deal, he delayed the 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 follows a three-day closure forced by Senate Democrats in January. As midnight approached, Paul did not relent, bemoaning from the Senate floor what he saw as out-of-control government spending and repeatedly rebuffing attempts by his fellow senators to move ahead with a vote.

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