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Rand Paul on Government Reform

 


Term limits if budget can't get balanced

Washington could use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read. We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills! We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!

And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say: Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!

I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there. If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

Fund new programs by deleting existing ones

In Washington, [there are] the omnipresent groups of lobbyists and special interests who every day descend upon every Capitol Hill office in droves.

I have come to refer to them as the Beseechers. Their hands are always out. They are here to tell me why their cause/products/disease/group is by far the most--in fact possibly the ONLY--one deserving of large amounts of federal dollars, tax breaks, subsidies, or special rules and privileges.

My office demands that anyone wanting money--for any cause no matter how necessary or noble--must first explain where the money will come from. What existing program will they delete to pay for their desired program?

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 95 , Sep 12, 2012

Conservatives should criticize GOP when they grow government

Imagine Obama had governed from 2000 to 2008 exactly as Bush did. Would Republicans have given Obama and his party a free pass in carrying out the exact same agenda as Bush? It's hard to imagine this being the case, given the grief Bill Clinton got from Republicans, even though his big government agenda was less ambitious than Bush's. Yet, the last Republican president got very little criticism from his own party for most of his tenure.

For conservatives, there was no excuse for this.

Obama has proved far worse than Bush, no doubt, but this doesn't make Bush preferable, unless preference is dictated solely by party affiliation. But Clinton spent less money than his successor.

The word "conservative" came to lose its meaning as Republicans doubled government and the debt under their own watch. The Democrats are now tripling both and must be stopped-- but by a return to fiscal and constitutional sanity, not simply the same old, status quo insanity under the same old Republican brand.

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 47-48 , Feb 22, 2012

Our legislative victory: an end to earmarks

A significant target of voter outrage as of late has been the practice of earmarking, a long-standing Washington method of tacking on pork-barrel spending to just about any piece of legislation. After the 2010 elections, enough new leaders had been elected who wanted to change business as usual in government. By the end of the year, we finally had a major legislative victory on this important issue--and we put an end to earmarks.

Within a month after the elections, even President Obama was hearing the message. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama embraced the era of no earmarks. I joked that instead of Washington co-opting the Tea Party, we were co-opting Washington. The Tea Party was even co-opting President Obama!

Source: Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint, p. xi-xii , Jan 10, 2012

Federal contracts should include no-PAC clauses

I will propose that any federal contracts over a million dollars include a clause that precludes that entity from PAC contributions and lobbying.
Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p.246 , Feb 22, 2011

Instead of bringing home the bacon, bring home politicians

"We are bankrupting this country, and the bottom line is that the politicians don't get it. The only message they will understand is a one-way ticket home. Instead of bringing home the bacon, let's bring home the politicians. Bring them home to live with the mess they've created."

I ended my speech that day with one simple line: "I'm Rand Paul and I approve this message."

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 9-10 , Feb 22, 2011

FactCheck: No, Kagan never she'd regulate vegetable eating

In talking about the constitutionality of the health care law, Sen. Paul distorted a comment by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Paul said, "Recently in committee hearings asked Elena Kagan, [she was asked] do you think the government through the commerce clause could regulate that you eat three vegetables a day. Her response was yes."

Kagan's response was not "yes." During the 10-minute exchange, she outlined precedents set by the Supreme Court and how the commerce clause has been applied, but she did not give a response to Coburn's hypothetical question about vegetables.

Kagan, June 29, 2010: "The commerce clause has been interpreted broadly. It's been interpreted to apply to regulation of any instruments or instrumentalities or channels of commerce, but it's also been applied to anything that would substantially affect interstate commerce.. the Congress can't regulate non-economic activities."

Source: FactCheck.org on 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 15, 2011

Lobbyists' sole goal is to rip you off

Last year, over 15,000 individuals worked for organizations whose sole goal was to rip you off. No, not the mafia or Goldman Sachs, but another distinctly criminal class-- Washington lobbyists. In 2008, corporations and unions spent over $3 billion to bribe officials who claim to work for you.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

No Pork Pledge: decrease earmarking; increase transparency.

Obama signed Citizens Against Government Waste's "No Pork Pledge"

Despite congressional reforms over the past several years to reduce pork barreling and increase earmark accountability and transparency, earmarks continue to figure prominently as the "currency of corruption" on Capitol Hill, undermining the federal budgetary process and our democratic system of government. In an effort to encourage more members of Congress and candidates for office to kick the earmarking habit, CCAGW has launched a new no-gimmicks, anti-pork pledge.

Source: Citizens Against Government Waste's "No Pork Pledge" 10-CAGW on Aug 12, 2010

Identify constitutionality in every new congressional bill.

Obama signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 1. Protect the Constitution:

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA01 on Jul 8, 2010

Audit federal agencies, to reform or eliminate them.

Obama signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington:

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality,

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA05 on Jul 8, 2010

Moratorium on all earmarks until budget is balanced.

Obama signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 9. Stop the Pork:

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA09 on Jul 8, 2010

Prohibit IRS audits targeting Tea Party political groups.

Obama co-sponsored Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act

Congressional summary:: Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act: Requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards and definitions in effect on January 1, 2010, for determining whether an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status as an organization operated exclusively for social welfare to apply to such determinations after enactment of this Act. Prohibits any regulation, or other ruling, not limited to a particular taxpayer relating to such standards and definitions.

Proponent's argument in favor (Heritage Action, Feb. 26, 2014): H.R. 3865 comes in the wake of an attack on the Tea Party and other conservative organizations. The current IRS regulation is so broad and ill-defined that the IRS applies a "facts and circumstances" test to determine what constitutes "political activity" by an organization. This test can vary greatly depending on the subjective views of the particular IRS bureaucrat applying the test. IRS employees took advantage of this vague and subjective standard to unfairly delay granting tax-exempt status to Tea Party organizations and subject them to unreasonable scrutiny.

Text of sample IRS letter to Tea Party organizations:We need more information before we can complete our consideration of your application for exemption. Please provide the information requested on the enclosed Information Request by the response due date. Your response must be signed by an authorized person or officer whose name is listed on your application.

Source: H.R.3865 & S.2011 14-S2011 on Feb 11, 2014

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Page last updated: Mar 19, 2014