Posts tagged Rand Paul
Some potentially good news came out of Washington yesterday. The U.S. Senate voted 82–15 to allow debate on the immigration reform bill from the “Gang of Eight”. All fifteen “no” votes were Republicans. Though this is certainly an important vote, it doesn’t guarantee passage of the final bill, and most certainly doesn’t say anything about the bill’s possibilities in the House.
Not all votes in favor of allowing debate will necessarily translate into votes in favor of the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisted the bill as it is contains “serious flaws” and wants changes in the areas of border security, taxes, and government benefits. It already denies benefits to non-citizens, collects taxes from them, and vastly strengths border security, but he wants more:
For instance, McConnell said he wasn’t satisfied with just the Department of Homeland Security certifying that the U.S.-Mexico border was secure – a key requirement in the 13-year pathway to citizenship for current undocumented immigrants.
In December, Republican Party Chair Reince “and repeat” Priebus embarked on a reëxamination of the party’s future. He commissioned an “autopsy” of the party’s electoral failings.
The report is formally called the Growth and Opportunity Project.
According to Politico’s Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman, the report has triggered the oft-avoided civil war the Republican Party has been fearing. (more…)
The President’s annual State of the Union address has evolved over time. As we’ve noted before on these pages, the Constitutional mandate only specifies that the President must, according to Article II, Section 3:
… from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient …
That is, on occasion, he must tell Congress how things are going, and what he wants them to pass as legislation. There’s no requirement of a speech, no requirement of it being annual, and no requirement of it being any particular time of year.
But traditions form, and the live, televised annual speech before Congress has become the standard. President Bill Clinton turned them into theretofore unseen spectacle, in a manner he reprised at last year’s Democratic National Convention.
And, along the way, the opposition party’s responses to the State of the Union Addresses became part of the tradition as well. Until recently, that meant a single opposition speech. Beginning in 2011, though, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater, MN) gave the first Tea Party response, distinct from that of the Republican Party. (more…)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified today before committees of both houses of Congress. Video of the Senate and the House hearings (over 5 1⁄2 hours in all) are available from CSPAN.
In the morning, she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The former junior Senator from New York would normally have been treated deferentially by members of the chamber where she served, but two Senators who did not serve with her — Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Rand Paul (R-KY) — saw no need for deference or even respect. Johnson went for inappropriately rude, while Paul adopted a scolding tone. Both got the back of Clinton’s hand, but with different amounts of force applied to the verbal blows.
We’ve already discussed the Republican and FOX News allegations (not that there is a sliver of daylight between the two) that Clinton has failed to testify on Benghazi, even though there have been more than 30 State Department briefings on Benghazi before Congress, including a closed-door session on September 20 by Secretary Clinton herself. (more…)
In an effort to mask their fiscal irresponsibility (or perhaps to highlight it), the Republican National Convention has, not one, but two “debt clocks” on display. One of them shows the current national debt, ticking ever upward. The other shows the amount of debt incurred since the time the Convention was first gavelled to order on Monday afternoon.
Of course, neither of these “clocks” are accurate (nor are they “clocks”, since they don’t tell time). They don’t show the actual expenditure of dollars (i.e., when some agency of the federal government cuts a check, when the Pentagon awards a contract, when oil companies get a kickback, none of this causes these “clocks” to tick up). They only show a sort of average per-second amount calculated by taking the year’s projected deficit and dividing it by something like 31,536,000 (the number of seconds in a 365-day year; but this is a leap year, so perhaps they used 31,622,400).
Highlighting the deficit and the debt is, one might think, a dangerous thing for Republicans to do, since the debt is almost entirely due to the actions of Republican administrations. (more…)
Last year, people all over the political universe were calling Republicans crazy for rejecting the more moderate Mike Castle, Sue Lowden, and Jane Norton for the more extreme Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Ken Buck. After all, those three Senate seats would have been enough to shift the majority from the Democrats to the Republicans.
The response from many in the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is that it’s better to lose with a “real” conservative than to win with a RINO. Is that position really all that crazy? It’s worth investigating, given that this year’s leading Presidential candidates, other than Mitt Romney, have all been working diligently to find just how far off the right end of the political spectrum they can go. (more…)