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August 28, 2015

Posts in "Rand Paul"

August 4, 2015

McConnell Says No Shutdowns as September Agenda Takes Shape (Video)

McConnell says there won't be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says there won’t be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are warning a new shutdown showdown looms in September, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated there wouldn’t be any government shutdowns on his watch.

“Let me say it again: no more government shutdowns,” the Kentucky Republican said, when asked how he intended to adhere to his pledge made numerous times. “We have divided government. … At some point we’ll negotiate the way forward.”

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July 28, 2015

Rand Paul: GOP Will Discuss Best Way to Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a rally with supporters of his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, Sen. Rand Paul said it’s not yet certain whether his bill will get a vote.

“I don’t think it’s decided which bill it’s going to be. The only thing that’s been decided is that there will be a bill to defund, and I’ll be part of the discussion,” the Republican from Kentucky said in a brief interview. “I respect Sen. Lankford and others who want to do it, so we’ll just have to work on exactly what the final bill is.”

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July 27, 2015

Rand Paul Planned Parenthood Bill May Get a Vote

Paul (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood might be the one that gets a Senate vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are looking to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before leaving the Capitol for August recess.

It’s an effort that is unlikely to be much more than a procedural or show-vote given that they only control 54 seats in the chamber and the Democratic minority is certain to balk at any vote without a 60-vote threshold.

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July 17, 2015

Rand Paul Bringing Abortion Politics to Highway Bill Debate

Rand Paul

Paul says he’ll use procedural tools to get a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul appears to be plotting to bring the debate over abortion to the highway bill.

The Kentucky Republican’s presidential campaign said Friday he would be seeking an amendment vote on blocking federal funding for Planned Parenthood next week.

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June 18, 2015

Rand Paul Wants Internal GOP Debate Over Taxes

Paul toured Independence Hall on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul proposed a flat tax Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In unveiling his proposal to slash taxes to a single 14.5 percent marginal rate, Sen. Rand Paul wants a debate over whether the GOP should only seek to simplify the tax code.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, the Kentucky Republican said the plan he outlined in an opinion piece published in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal should encourage a debate about the amount of money the federal government should take in from tax receipts, upending the existing systems of taxes and tariffs along the way.

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June 15, 2015

McCain Eager to Finish Defense Bill, but Amendment Landmines Remain

National Defense Authorization Act

McCain hopes to complete work on the defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The defense policy bill could get off the Senate floor this week the easy way — or the hard way.

Senators will enter their third partial week of floor debate on the National Defense Authorization Act when they return Monday, with a key vote to limit debate on the measure occurring Tuesday morning unless there is an agreement to change the schedule.

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June 2, 2015

Rubio: Next President Will Have to Restore Intelligence Powers

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul and Rubio represented opposite sides in the NSA surveillance debate, although both voted to filibuster the USA Freedom Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday the next president will have to reverse damage done to the national security apparatus by the USA Freedom Act.

The Florida Republican and presidential candidate was one of the 32 senators to vote against the bill to overhaul the National Security Agency’s Patriot Act-era intelligence collection programs, which easily passed. He was in a group of lawmakers, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said the bill could make America less secure. And he was one of just 14 who voted to filibuster the bill earlier Tuesday, along with fellow presidential candidates Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.

But Rubio’s position was, on policy grounds, the polar opposite of Paul’s.

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Senate Clears USA Freedom Act After Ending Rand Paul Filibuster (Updated)

McConnell belatedly succeeded in overcoming Paul's opposition to any Patriot Act extension. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell helped cut off Paul’s filibuster but voted against the USA Freedom Act after the Senate rejected his amendments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:09 p.m. | The Senate passed an overhaul of Patriot Act surveillance provisions Tuesday after rejecting the pleas of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and putting an end to Rand Paul’s filibuster.

The Senate voted 67-32 to clear the USA Freedom Act — the bill resurrecting and revising the lapsed Patriot Act surveillance authorities — to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

The vote capped a multi-week drama that had brought the Senate to a standstill and pitted the two Kentucky Republicans against each other, the White House and the House and led to a short-term expiration of Patriot Act authorities the administration said were critical to the intelligence community.

The National Security Agency will have up to six more months to collect bulk phone metadata before that program must be converted to a system of expedited queries of telecom companies for individual records.

The Senate rejected a package of amendments proposed by Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., who has been a consistent skeptic of the House-passed bill along with Paul’s fellow Kentucky Republican, McConnell.

McConnell and Burr sought to extend the transition period to a full year, wanted to require a certification that the telecom companies would be able to deliver the information sought by the National Security Agency, and wanted to nix an amicus process for the secret FISA court.

The tweaks, however minor — as they’ve been billed by Senate Republicans leadership — had been considered poison pills by the House, and were all easily rejected by the Senate in a humbling defeat for the majority leader.

McConnell, meanwhile, just before the vote announced he would oppose the USA Freedom Act. He said it was unwise to take away a tool for fighting terrorists at a time of rising threats, and said the public agreed with him.

“Sixty-one percent say ‘I’m not concerned about my privacy, I’m concerned about my security,'” McConnell said.

He fumed that the bill amounted to a resounding victory for Edward Snowden and for terrorists plotting new attacks.

But House leaders and the White House had strongly urged the Senate to reject any amendments and simply clear the bill to the president’s desk.

Once signed, the NSA will be able to restart its bulk phone metadata collection, a process the administration has said could take up to a full day.

Earlier the Senate voted 83-14 vote to end Paul’s filibuster and limit debate.

Here’s the list of the 14 senators who voted to filibuster the USA Freedom Act:


Senate Odd Couple — Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul — Won’t Split Despite NSA Rift

McCarthy to Senate: Pass USA Freedom Act ‘as Quickly as Possible’

Angry John McCain Calls Rand Paul ‘the Worst’

Senate Advances Patriot Act Overhaul, but Too Late to Foil Rand Paul

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

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June 1, 2015

Senate Odd Couple Won’t Split — Despite NSA Rift (Video)

Rand Paul helped Mitch McConnell win reelection, and McConnell has returned the favor by endorsing him for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Paul helped McConnell win re-election, and McConnell has returned the favor by endorsing him for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The icy rift over the Patriot Act between one of the Senate’s oddest couples — Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul — isn’t about to break up their political alliance.

The split has brought the Senate to a halt and led to ugly infighting among Senate Republicans on the floor Sunday night, as Paul forced expiration of Patriot Act authorities.

But the Kentucky duo’s relationship is deeper than what happens on the Senate floor.

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May 31, 2015

Angry John McCain Calls Rand Paul ‘the Worst’ (Video)

Two Republicans did stand with Rand Paul: Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Justin Amash of Michigan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two Republicans did stand with Rand Paul: Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Justin Amash of Michigan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Not that Rand Paul was counting on his support, but it’s pretty clear that Sen. John McCain does not #StandWithRand.

McCain took several opportunities Sunday night to torch the Kentucky Republican and 2016 presidential hopeful. Full story

Senate Advances Patriot Act Overhaul, but Too Late to Foil Rand Paul (Updated)

Rand Paul arrives at the U.S. Capitol to block any Patriot Act extension Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rand Paul arrives at the Capitol determined to block any Patriot Act extension Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:52 p.m. | The Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance the USA Freedom Act Sunday evening, but too late to prevent Sen. Rand Paul from being able to force a short-term expiration of Patriot Act surveillance authorities at midnight.

The vote came after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., threw in the towel on advancing any short-term extensions of the Patriot Act authorities under the continuing objections of Paul, the fellow Kentuckian he has endorsed for the presidency. Full story

May 29, 2015

Rand Paul Will Force Patriot Act Provisions to Expire (Updated)

Paul could force a nearly one week expiration of the Patriot Act all by himself. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul announces on Twitter he is planning to force the expiration of parts of the Patriot Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 30, 11:06 a.m. | Sen. Rand Paul made it official Saturday: Patriot Act surveillance authorities are going to lapse.

The Kentucky Republican fired off a series of tweets outlining his past steps designed to stop what he has called the unconstitutional use of general warrants.

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May 27, 2015

Rand Paul Blasts Critics in the ‘Eye Roll’ Caucus (Video)

Paul hit back at his critics in a missive to campaign supporters Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul hit back at his critics Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


In his latest fundraising message, Sen. Rand Paul is calling out an “eye roll” caucus of senators who are against his efforts to upend Patriot Act surveillance programs.

“If I’m going to slug it out Sunday with the spy state apologists, I’m going to need all the help and support I can get,” the Kentucky Republican wrote Wednesday. “Unfortunately, it seems the President, the senior senator from Arizona and other members of the ‘eye roll’ caucus who can’t stand any mention of the Bill of Rights are all operating out of the same playbook.”

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May 22, 2015

After Rand Paul’s Objections, Patriot Act Lurches Toward Expiration (Updated)

Rand Paul blocked a Patriot Act extension when he couldn't get votes on his amendments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul blocked a Patriot Act extension when he couldn’t get votes on his amendments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated May 23, 2 a.m. | The Senate failed to advance even a one-day extension of the Patriot Act surveillance authorities early Saturday, with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., leading bipartisan objections to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in an extraordinary sequence.

The end result is that the Senate will reconvene for legislative business at 4 p.m. on May 31, staring down a midnight deadline to reauthorize the programs in question, including some far less contentious than the bulk data collection that’s gotten most of the attention. Full story

May 21, 2015

McConnell Says Senate Could Finish Friday ‘With Cooperation’ (Video)

The Kentucky senators are at odds on the NSA surveillance issue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell might want to have a chat about the schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The senior senator from Kentucky might need to have a little chat with the junior senator from Kentucky.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Thursday the Senate could finish its work on trade, Patriot Act surveillance authority and a highway patch by close of business Friday. That would let lawmakers make it to their home states well in advance of the Memorial Day parades.

But that would require “cooperation” that at this point is nowhere to be found, principally because of Sen. Rand Paul’s threat of maximum obstruction of any extension of the NSA’s surveillance powers. Full story

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