After days of Republican delays, the House’s first coronavirus bill was all set to cruise through the Senate — but right on cue, the Senate’s most obnoxious and obstinate member derailed it with a ridiculous stunt. Libertarian blowhard Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced that he will be objecting to the package in order to force a vote on his personal pet project amendment. Even Sen. Mitch McConnell promised it would pass through the Senate at “warp speed.”
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) March 17, 2020
In typical Rand Paul fashion, that amendment heaps hardship on society’s most vulnerable and inserts an outrageous foreign policy demand in a domestic spending package.
NEW: The Senate is NOT expected to vote on the House-passed Coronavirus Relief package tonight, two sources tell NBC.
— Julie Tsirkin (@JulieNBCNews) March 17, 2020
Rand Paul wants the coronavirus relief bill to both amend the tax code to deny child tax credits to undocumented immigrants and to unilaterally end the United States’ entire military operations in Afghanistan. In addition, there is a curious and ominous demand that the President be given the “authority to transfer funds as necessary.”
One shudders to think of how President Trump would abuse that power.
While there is a very good reason that we need to consider a unilateral end to military operations in Afghanistan, using the issue as a cheap trick to delay an entirely unrelated and desperately needed epidemic relief package is beyond the pale.
Paul has already voted against the first emergency coronavirus bill; before that, he delayed that one too with an amendment calling for “cuts to State Department Cultural Exchange programs and reduces funding for the United States Agency for International Development,” reports the Courier-Journal.
It appears he is so psychotically opposed to any government spending at all he’s willing to allow Americans to continue to suffer just so he can grandstand in the Senate and pretend he’s the only rEaL cOnSeRvaTivE left.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.