Big-spending Senators Vote Down Rand Paul Spending Cut

Thursday, October 31, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Warren Mass
Wednesday, 30 October 2019

On October 28, the Senate voted down an amendment by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.; shown) that would have reduced spending federal government, by a vote of 24-67.

The amendment would have reduced the amounts appropriated for multiple departments in a fiscal 2020 domestic spending package by two percent compared to fiscal year 2019 spending levels. The departments included Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

The amendment was supported by the Club for Growth, which stated on its “Key Vote Alert” prior to the vote:

Club for Growth supports Senator Rand Paul’s amendment that would reduce FY2020 appropriations for H.R.3055 by 2 percent and urges all Senators to vote YES on it….

The National Debt exceeds $22 trillion and the federal government is incurring over $1 trillion in annual deficits for FY2020 and beyond. Congress needs a plan to balance the federal budget and reign in spending. This amendment would begin to put federal spending on a path to balance by cutting two percent in spending for FY2020 from the FY2019 enacted level.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said on the Senate floor before the vote that his colleagues should reject the bill.

“[Paul’s] amendment will slash spending below the bipartisan budget act that we all negotiated,” Leahy said.

No Democrats voted for the amendment. And although 24 Republicans voted for it, 25 voted no, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.).

Four 2020 candidates — Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — missed the vote, presumably because they were away campaigning.

The 25 Republicans who voted against Paul’s amendment, taken from the Senate roll call, were:

Alexander (R-TN)

Blunt (R-MO)

Boozman (R-AR)

Burr (R-NC)

Capito (R-WV)

Collins (R-ME)

Cotton (R-AR)

Cramer (R-ND)

Gardner (R-CO)

Graham (R-SC)

Hawley (R-MO)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Hyde-Smith (R-MS)

McConnell (R-KY)

McSally (R-AZ)

Moran (R-KS)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Portman (R-OH)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rounds (R-SD)

Scott (R-FL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Wicker (R-MS)

Young (R-IN)

Young (R-IN)

This was not the first time that many fellow Republicans abandoned Paul in his efforts to bring fiscal sanity to our nation’s budget. We reported in May 2018 that the Senate had voted to reject legislation Paul introduced that would have balanced the budget in five years and cut spending by roughly $13 trillion over 10 years.

On that vote, only 20 Republicans joined Paul in voting for his proposal, known as the “penny plan.” Twenty-nine Republicans joined 47 Democrats in rejecting the measure.

“Republicans say they are for balancing a budget so today’s a litmus test. If your senator has been saying they’re for a balanced budget, they ought to vote for it,” Paul said on Fox News before the vote.

“When the Republican Party is out of power, they are a conservative party. The problem is that when the Republican Party is in power, there is no conservative party.”

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