Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) served as a reminder this week of what American conservatives should be demanding of the Republican Party when it comes to sanity in the federal budget.
Paul caught hell Friday from Republicans and Democrats alike for simply making the point that the 652-page budget and appropriations agreement hammered out by congressional leaders is crap for anyone interested in seeing the federal government, and it’s massive deficit, shrink.
“Are we to be conservative all the time, or only when we’re in the minority?” Paul asked from the Senate floor as he initiated a brief government shutdown Thursday via a filibuster.
The answer from congressional Republicans of late has, of course, been “only when we’re in the minority.”
Which is kind of funny, considering speeches like this from House Speaker Paul Ryan himself a few short years ago, in Obama’s America.
All Paul wanted was a simple amendment acknowledging the insanity of out of control government spending by preserving previously agreed upon budget caps.
As The Weekly Standard reported:
The bill then went to the House, where lawmakers cast their votes at 5:14 Friday morning. It passed that chamber with a vote of 240-186, ending the brief government spending lapse.
Senator Paul objected to the package’s two year budget proposal which expands the budgetary caps on military and domestic spending set in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Paul sought an amendment that would have preserved the budget caps. “I’m asking for one amendment. It takes fifteen minutes,” Paul tweeted.
Arguing that if Paul received a vote on his amendment, everybody would want an amendment, Republican leaders refused. Ultimately, neither side budged. Without Paul’s support for a unanimous consent request (where one Senator can object) to move the vote up to an earlier time, the procedure-restrained chamber had to wait until after midnight, thus shutting down the government, to pass the bill.
Big spending asshole Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called Paul’s move a “dangerous thing.”
More dangerous than bankrupting the nation forevermore? We’ll see.
And Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) went so far as telling Politico ,“When Rand Paul pulls a stunt like this, it easy to understand why it’s difficult to be Rand Paul’s next door neighbor.”
“The whole delay and filibuster exercise on the budget agreement is utterly pointless.” Dent added.
Maybe it is pointless to advocate for the very kind of conservative reforms Americans sent these people to Washington for in the first place. But, for his efforts, I salute Paul.