At 12 a.m. ET on February 9th, the U.S government shut down for the second time in 2018. But this time, the shutdown was not for any serious reason.
Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican from Arkansas, used a procedural mechanism to temporarily shut down the government as an act of protest against the fact that this spending bill will cost almost $400 billion over two years.
"I can't, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who's to blame? Both parties," Paul said. "We have a 700-page bill that no one has read that was printed at midnight. No one will read this bill, nothing will be reformed, the waste will continue and government will keep taking your money irresponsibly and adding to a $20 trillion debt."
By the time you read this, the shutdown could be over. But Paul's action is notable because it finds a member of the Republican Party, which controls both chambers of Congress, shutting down the government without any serious legislative ask during a midterm election year.
This shutdown was pure political theater at the possible expense of working Americans. Voters are unlikely to forget it later this year.