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March 1, 2015

Posts in "Rand Paul"

February 20, 2015

Rand Paul’s Twitter Needs a Legal Lesson

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul’s Twitter feed has gotten ahead of itself.

A tweet from the Kentucky Republican’s account with more than 543,000 followers Friday morning declared that the “5th Circuit of Appeals confirmed what you and I knew, Pres. Obama’s #ExecutiveAmnesty is illegal.” It then asked opponents of President Barack Obama’s immigration actions to add their names.

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February 12, 2015

Odd Couples Push Criminal Justice Overhauls (Updated)

Cornyn and Whitehouse conduct a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio on bipartisan legislation to reform the prison system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cornyn and Whitehouse conduct a Feb. 10 news conference in the Capitol’s Senate studio on bipartisan legislation to reform the prison system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:41 p.m. | John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse. Mike Lee and Richard J. Durbin. Rand Paul and Harry Reid.

Those three Senate odd couples have been spearheading the rollout of legislation this week that, taken together, would affect prison sentences for convicted criminals, how long they might serve and what happens to them when they’ve paid their debt to society. That follows Paul teaming up with Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy earlier this month.

And if even one of the bills could move through the committee process and then secure some precious Senate floor time, who knows what might happen.

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February 6, 2015

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, left, and Graham are two senators seen as potential Republican candidates for the White House in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.

The issue will provide opportunities for jockeying among those senators seeking their party’s nomination for president, including Lindsey Graham, who recently announced his intention to explore the possibilities.

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January 22, 2015

Wendell Ford, Longtime Kentucky Senator, Dies at 90

Ford, left, made sure to attend Grimes' election eve rally in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ford, left, made sure to attend Grimes’ election eve rally in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky political legend and purveyor of Southern wit Wendell H. Ford has died.

Ford, 90, had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer.

A Democrat, Ford served in the Senate for 24 years before retiring at the end of his fourth term in 1999. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Ford served as Kentucky governor, lieutenant governor and did a stint in the state Senate.

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January 20, 2015

Rand Paul to Quote MLK, John Lewis in SOTU Response

iraq rand paul

Paul will deliver his own response to the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul plans to quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when responding to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

In an early excerpt provided to CQ Roll Call, the Kentucky Republican cites both King and fellow civil-rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in reference to tension and discontent in America today.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 6:52 p.m.
2016, Rand Paul

Rand Paul’s Message: ‘Do No Harm’ In Foreign Affairs

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., makes his way through the basement of the Capitol before a vote on the Senate floor, December 12, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Paul will have his own response to the State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Possible 2016 contender Sen. Rand Paul says that the foreign policy potion of his own response to Tuesday’s State of the Union address will focus on an old adage from his medical career: “Do no harm.”

“I think one the biggest things about foreign policy is that you should think before you act, and that’s one of the themes that I’ll have tonight is: First, do no harm. As physicians, we’re taught first to do no harm, which means think through,” the Kentucky Republican said. “You have enormous power as a surgeon. Before you cut into someone, make sure you have the right diagnosis. Try not to make mistakes.”

Paul is issuing his own video response, separate from the official message to be delivered by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

In an interview in his Washington office ahead of the speech by President Barack Obama, Paul used the potential for additional sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program as an example where Congress should avoid doing such harm. Full story

January 10, 2015

Rand Paul Skipping Joint Republican Retreat

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At least one of the Senate’s 2016 contenders is bailing on the big House-Senate Republican conference gathering next week in Hershey, Pa.

An aide to Sen. Rand Paul confirmed the Kentucky Republican would not attend the retreat — the first joint gathering of the majorities on both sides of the Rotunda.

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December 19, 2014

Paul Challenges Rubio Over Obama’s Cuba Plan

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky trolled Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, his potential rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, on Twitter Friday over Rubio’s opposition to President Obama’s plan to normalize relations with Cuba.

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December 18, 2014

Rand Paul on Cuba: Open Trade a Better Way to Fight Communism

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul said opening up Cuba could be more effective than an embargo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul says President Barack Obama should expect to face thousands of riders on next year’s spending bills.

“I say we put not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of instructions to the president on how it should be spent,” the Kentucky Republican said Thursday. “That’s the power of the purse. Now, some have been disappointed we haven’t used it so far, but we haven’t controlled the Senate, so we haven’t been able to do it.” Full story

December 14, 2014

How Big Is the Ted Cruz Caucus?

Ted Cruz

Eleven Republicans sided with Ted Cruz on all three key votes on the ‘cromnibus.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a question that will prove crucial next year when Mitch McConnell takes the reins of a new Senate: Just how big is the Ted Cruz caucus?

Three votes on the “cromnibus” late Saturday night suggest it could be as large as 22 senators — a dangerously high number for McConnell — or as few as a handful.

Let’s break down the three votes — on filibustering the $1.1 trillion package, on Cruz’s point of order aimed at targeting the president’s immigration action, and final passage. Full story

December 12, 2014

Paul and Rubio Spar Over Foreign Policy, ISIS AUMF

Marco Rubio has staked out a more hawkish foreign policy than rival Rand Paul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marco Rubio has staked out a more hawkish foreign policy than rival Rand Paul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The nation may have gotten a little taste of 2016 Republican presidential politics Thursday as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky squared off with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on foreign policy.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee markup, Paul, a potential 2106 presidential candidate, offered an amendment setting geographic limits to an Authorization for Use of Military Force cleared by the committee that would set parameters on the nation’s fight against the terror group known as Islamic State, ISIS, or ISIL.

The amendment failed on a 13 to 5 vote. But the preceding debate, which was respectful, saw Paul and Rubio, who may also seek the Republican nomination for president, disagree over how much Congress should rein in the commander in chief.

The split highlights a debate within the party over America’s role abroad that will likely play out in the run up to 2016. Full story

December 9, 2014

Watch: John Kerry Testifies on ISIS War

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a 2 p.m. hearing on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force in the United States’ war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Secretary of State John Kerry will testify.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 8, 2014

McConnell Plots a Functional, Bipartisan Senate

Mitch McConnell

McConnell said divisions among Senate Democrats in the next Congress will trump any discipline problems within his Republican majority.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to hit the ground running in January — and he thinks Democrats are ready to join him in crafting a more open, functional Senate.

In an exclusive interview in his Capitol office suite, the incoming majority leader told CQ Roll Call he’s been preparing his would-be chairmen to move quickly since spring.

“The worst experience any majority can have is that you convene and you look around and nothing’s ready to go. So what I said to the members who hoped they would be chairmen [was], ‘Let’s don’t have that problem. Be thinking now about legislation that you have, preferably that enjoys some Democratic support, because we certainly didn’t think we were going to have 60 and we don’t,'” the Kentucky Republican said.

McConnell pointed to conversations he’s had with Democrats, whose cooperation will be required to get the Senate functioning as he would like.

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December 4, 2014

John McCain Knocks Rand Paul’s Lame-Duck Push to Declare War on ISIS

John McCain ISIS

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It takes a lot to surprise Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has served in the chamber for nearly 30 years, but Thursday’s Foreign Relations Committee water bill debate did just that.

The committee considered a surprise effort by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to try to attach a Declaration of War against the terror group known as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL to an unrelated water bill the committee was considering.

“It was the most bizarre meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee that I have ever attended in my life, or ever expected to attend,” McCain said.

“It’s a living, breathing argument against lame-duck sessions,” he said. Full story

Paul Gambit Poised to Force Vote on ISIS (Video)

iraq rand paul

Paul wants an ISIS vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul scored a victory Thursday in forcing an end-of-session debate on authorizing force against Islamic State militants.

The Kentucky Republican, and potential 2016 presidential candidate, used a legislative gambit to press the issue — which the Obama administration has been reluctant to specifically engage with Congress on. Paul first tried to attach a Declaration of War against the terror group also known as ISIS or ISIL to an unrelated water bill at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Paul agreed to refrain from offering his amendment after the panel scheduled a Monday hearing on the issue, where Secretary of State John Kerry may testify. The hearing will be followed by a classified briefing, with a markup and vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force on Wednesday.

“I think the most important responsibility of a legislator is to vote yay or nay on whether or not we are sending our young men and women to war and I think we have been derelict in that duty. … The president, I think in his arrogance has assumed he doesn’t even need to ask,” Paul said when leaving the markup meeting. “Today we forced the issue and next week we’ve been promised a hearing on this as well as a vote on this and I am satisfied with that.”

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