Rand Paul will filibuster debt ceiling bill

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ahead of GOP debate, Rand Paul talks marijuana, budget filibuster.

Three Republican senators running for president have assailed a bipartisan budget deal to avert a government shutdown, with one of them launching an almost certainly futile attempt to block its passage.LAS VEGAS — Rand Paul’s presidential campaign was doing a lousy job of playing dead this week, when the senator from Kentucky trekked to an office park to cut the ribbon on a new headquarters.In Kentucky, all top officeholders of both political parties are expected to speak at “Fancy Farm” — the shorthand name for a Catholic Church picnic and forum for raucous political speaking the first Saturday in August at the far western end of the state.

Rand Paul vowed to filibuster the agreement, while Marco Rubio dismissed it as “severely flawed” and Ted Cruz dubbed it as “complete and utter surrender.” “I will do everything I can to stop it, I will filibuster it, I will not let them condense the time,” Paul said on Tuesday during a campaign swing in Colorado ahead of the third Republican presidential debate on Wednesday. “I will make sure that the country is aware that really both sides appear to have given up, right and left.” The deadline to raise the debt limit is not until 5 November and the House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill on Wednesday in what outgoing speaker John Boehner said would be a strong bipartisan show of support. And so when he got a question about whether he might quit the race, as some people have urged, he had a sarcastic counterpunch ready to go. “I’m for the other nine quitting and just coronating me,” Paul said, adding, “We’ll actually have votes, and the votes will determine who the winner is.” The run-up to Wednesday’s Republican debate has been brutal for Paul and no fun for the other half-dozen candidates mired in low single digits.

Under the Senate rules, if there are 60 votes in favor of advancing the bill Paul’s only option would be to eat up any debate time by speaking on the floor without pause – as he has done in high-profile fights over drone strikes and mass surveillance. They think it’s utter mayhem out here.” “I’m not here to advocate for marijuana,” Paul continued. “But I’m here to advocate for freedom. The first-term senator was considered a major presidential contender earlier in the year but the latest fundraising numbers put him squarely in the bottom tier of the GOP’s 2016 class over the last three months. But in this case it’s unlikely he would be able to block the bill – and leadership aides said part of why they planned to move expeditiously was to avoid a scenario in which the budget debate moved into next week, when Paul or other opponents of the deal could actually risk hitting the debt ceiling.

And you know what, if I’m president I’m going to leave Colorado the hell alone.” The line won Paul big applause from the roughly 200 students and supporters in the crowd at the University of Colorado – Denver. His absence left him defenseless to the blunt barbs that Fancy Farm is known for. “Rand, look at me …” implored program emcee Matt Jones, a popular local sports radio talk-show host. “You’re not gonna win. The budget portion would increase the current “caps” on total agency spending by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017, offset by savings elsewhere in the budget. The crazy people are voting for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders … Just come on back and join us here in the state.” Nearly three months later, polls show Paul’s presidential campaign still failing to gain traction. Cruz, the conservative firebrand who played a significant part in orchestrating the government shutdown of 2013, also did not commit to trying any delaying tactics with respect to the budget agreement.

In March 2013, the libertarian firebrand held up the nomination of CIA Director John Brenan for nearly 13 hours over questions on his position regarding the use of drones. The Texas senator’s office did not have any details on how Cruz planned to approach the issue, other than to say they were waiting to see what the process would look like for considering the measure in the Senate. Politico reported last week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his allies were quietly ratcheting up pressure on Paul to pay more attention to the Senate race. Cruz unleashed sharp criticism on Republican leaders for what he said was “a slap in the face” to conservatives after the party regained control of Congress in the 2014 midterm elections. “We now have a GOP Congress but no one watching this budget surrender would know it,” Cruz said in a statement. “Make no mistake: the Speaker’s golden parachute is a victory for the Washington Cartel, for the politically connected elite, and for big business and lobbyists who get in bed with career politicians to grow government.” Paul has struggled in the crowded Republican presidential field, raising just $2.5m in the last quarter. In their view, that’s plenty. “The candidates who are really low in the polls don’t have big campaign operations to maintain,” said Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota whose early exit from the 2012 presidential race, which he later regretted as premature, has become a cautionary tale. “Your friends, your family, your cousins — they can kind of keep you going with gas money as college kids hit the trail for you.

Other candidates talk openly about grabbing Paul’s “liberty voters” and Huckabee’s social conservatives when their campaigns inevitably crack. But last week, before an event at Cherokee Avenue Baptist Church in Gaffney, S.C., Huckabee fielded questions about his long-term plans by saying he had put down stakes in that state and Iowa. “In both states we’re heavily invested and truly believe that it’s critical for us to put in serious ground operations,” he said. “If you don’t win early states, you’re not going to be the nominee. I don’t care what the polls are right now — winning early states is all about getting organized, getting people to those caucuses and primaries.” Every candidate who barely qualified for Wednesday’s debate has a version of this argument. McConnell needs all of the soldiers he can find up there.” The Kentucky Republican Party did Paul a favor in August, rewriting its rules — at Paul’s request — to let Paul run for re-election in the traditional May primary while seeking Kentucky’s presidential delegates in a new GOP presidential caucus on March 5. In Las Vegas, Paul insisted that polls showing him lagging in the Nevada caucuses were “not real polls of who’s going to vote” but “polls of the undecided.” The Kasich and Christie campaigns are buoyed by polls that show New Hampshire primary voters viewing them more favorably as they grind their way through pancake breakfasts and chamber of commerce dinners.

Many Democrats are encouraging State Auditor Adam Edelen, whom many view as a rising star in the party, to challenge Paul next year, though Edelen is now locked in a tighter-than-expected re-election campaign to be decided next Tuesday. His very public triage and staff salary cuts cheered even Rick Santorum, exiled to the “undercard” debates but bragging in a donor e-mail this week that “while some campaigns have received headlines for laying off staff, we just hired five new members of our team.” Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the celebrity candidates who have dominated the race since summer, are viewed by the underdogs as flashy and flawed.

Kasich adviser John Weaver tweeted that Trump was like “the melding of Richie Rich and Walter Mitty.” Weaver sees the potential to convert Trump supporters. “They’re frustrated at government not working, and they have every reason to be frustrated,” he said. “We’re ahead of schedule. He notes that Wednesday’s debate will focus on economic policy, giving Paul a chance to promote his “flat tax plan” that will lower taxes and simplify the tax code, as well as his plan to balance the budget. “I think we’ve got to make progress …” Englander said. “Campaigns are one day at a time, working hard, putting together the organization.

We’re adding legislators. “Why would I be so concerned about what the pundits are saying right now if they have been so 100 percent, totally, absolutely wrong about everything up to now?” Huckabee asked in Gaffney. Pawlenty understood that optimism and where it came from. “That’s like hanging around the basketball rim waiting for a rebound,” he said. “Sometimes, it does happen. If you’re a candidate who’s already put two years of your life into this, you could do worse than try.” The wait for a rebound would not be lonely. Bobby Jindal — have regularly publicized their quixotic swings through the early-voting states despite polling at less than 1 percent in national surveys. It’s about getting over the shouting from Trump.” Mila Farrell, 50, volunteered for all three of former Texas congressman Ron Paul’s campaigns, and she drove 6 1/2 hours to help his son Rand Paul open the Las Vegas office. “It does feel like a bit of a conspiracy,” she said of the coverage. “You’ve got a candidate who was on the cover of Time magazine and who appeals to frustrated Democrats and independents — and the media’s not polling them.” She saw the same thing with Ron Paul.

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