The Republican efforts to ward off a second government shutdown and neuter the Democratic Party’s last remaining leverage piece of leverage just hit a major roadblock from within their own party.
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thought he was in for some smooth sailing after Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the rest of the coward moderate Senate Democrats decided they were too overly concerned about their poll numbers to actually follow through on their threat to not fund the government until we secured protections for the 800,000 DREAMERs (who are facing deportation on March 5th) rolled over and agreed to a two-year budget deal that funnels unbelievable amounts of money to the military and does nothing to address the situation of the DREAMERs.
But he wasn’t counting on his colleague from Kentucky, the noted “libertarian” Rand Paul (R-KY), who saw the opening for a Rand Paul Grandstanding Moment and declared that he would refuse to vote for the budget bill because of the damage that it would do to the deficit.
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In a rare show of honesty from a Republican Senator, Paul took to the Senate floor and began berating his colleagues for their unbelievable hypocrisy, declaring that he would personally shut down the government if he had to. “I think the country’s worth a debate till 3 in the morning, frankly!” said Paul.
Sen. Rand Paul on the new senate spending bill: "If you were against President Obama's deficits, and now you're for the Republican deficits, isn't that the very definition of hypocrisy?" https://t.co/pgybhyZMsA pic.twitter.com/trsb6zQ70K
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 8, 2018
“We have a 700-page bill that no one has read that was printed at midnight,” complained Paul. “When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party. But when Republicans are in power it seems there is no conservative party.”
Of course, Paul only cares about spending – not deficits, since he just voted for the GOP’s $1.5 trillion collection of handouts and tax breaks to the wealthy that will blow an enormous hole in our nation’s deficits.
But since the House Democrats appear to be mobilizing to block the bill, the prospect of a shutdown suddenly looms much larger – and rekindles hope that somehow, someway, the Democrats might stumble their way into achieving something at all before signing away the one thing they can use to force the Republicans into giving us some concessions.