The White House has begun advising parts of the government to prepare for another shutdown, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, just hours before Congress's midnight deadline to pass a new budget measure.
John Czwartacki, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, told the Post that agencies were "being urged to review and prepare for lapse." HuffPost has reached out to the White House for comment.
Were the government to shut down, it would be the second time the country would be without funding in as many months.
Congress was scrambling to avoid such a recurrence Thursday, and the Senate was poised to pass a sweeping measure that included sharp raises in spending limits for the military and the federal debt limit. But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday evening moved to delay the chamber's vote with a lengthy speech in which he derided the bill's additions to the federal deficit.
"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," Paul said on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a unanimous consent request to expedite a vote on the budget measure shortly before 6 p.m.Thursday. Paul objected, however, demanding first a vote on an amendment to the bill that would reinstate spending limits that it removed. Unless Paul yields before midnight, the earliest the Senate will be able to vote on the measure is early Friday, an hour past the government funding deadline.
In addition, Democratic members of the House have voiced opposition to the deal's lack of protections for young undocumented immigrants, also known as Dreamers.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave an eight-hour speech on the House floor on Wednesday ― the longest such action in the chamber's history ― urging the body to include protections for recipients of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). She says she opposes the budget legislation without a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to vote on DACA.
"If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, and — unrelated but still related — they don't want to take care of military, then shut it down. We'll go with another shutdown," Trump said during a meeting with lawmakers Tuesday.