Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) indicated Wednesday that he will not filibuster a budget agreement designed to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. 

Paul said this week that he was considering a filibuster of the agreement, but conceded that enough votes appear to exist to comfortably pass the deal. The Tea Party-backed senator explained voters have told him to oppose the deal, which cuts $39.9 billion, but that "you don't always get the direct message" when it comes to a filibuster. 


"Last Friday night at midnight, could I have refused to have a vote and say we're going to stop the government? I could, but then it would be less about me being for Social Security reform and balancing the budget," Paul said on CBS's "Washington Unplugged" webcast. "Instead, it would be about that petulant guy from Kentucky who shut the government down just because he was mad. And I don't want that [to be] the perception out there."

His interview was followed by an announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Thursday morning that the upper chamber reached a unanimous consent agreement to move forward on the deal. 

That removes what could have been a key roadblock against the deal, which Congress is set to vote on Thursday. A filibuster would have made it difficult for the Senate to pass the budget deal by midnight Friday, when the government's spending measure expires. 

Although the bill is expected to pass, GOP frustration with it has risen over the past few days amid reports that the amount of actual spending cuts to take effect this year is less than expected. 

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who brokered the deal with President Obama and Reid, has defended the deal, repeatedly saying it contains "real cuts."

Paul said that if the vote were so close that two senators could change the outcome, it would be "worth" mounting a filibuster. But he said that is not the case. 

"If you're going to lose the battle and all you did was shut the government down for three days, then really that maybe is empty partisanship," he said.

-- Josiah Ryan contributed