5 votes

Rand Paul Watch 12/28

Skip to the dotted line if you don’t care to read my background.

As of this second, I am the longest-lurking addition to the DailyPaul roster of registered contributors, having discovered the site late in the summer of 2007 when a second cousin of mine declared at a family function that, “Ron Paul is the only Republican worth considering.” I’ve been loyally lurking among you since that date. Having been, prior to that summer, little more than a vestige of the “National Security Republican” propaganda factory, it’s safe to say I was skeptical of my dyed in the wool liberal cousin (once removed, thank God!)

I don’t remember which debate moment won me over, but I remember being won instantaneously, in the time it took to blink. Looking back now, I realize just how devoid of reason and factual support I must have been for my opinion to change so rapidly. Since then, I’ve lived by a simple motto. I am not entitled to an opinion; I am only granted what I can prove, with facts. So are you.
I was in my freshman year at a military service academy at the time, and had just enough sense to switch my major from Government (nearly a worthless study these days, as it is so heavily subjected to the whims of status quo professors and textbook propaganda - I will elaborate on this in a future post) to Environmental Science (another politicized study these days, although it doesn’t have to be) which I have since been very thankful for. In this first post of mine, I will present facts that all DailyPaul readers should be aware of. I offer no opinions, because these facts are derived only from a single day of watching the Senate operate on CSPAN2. But they, along with all observations, need to be taken into the sum total of data points that inform an opinion.

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Today in the US Senate, members voted to renew FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which, among other points, allows the NSA to peruse emails, phone calls, and other transactions of U.S. citizens who are corresponding with foreigners connected to terrorist activities. Yesterday, 4 separate Senators proposed 4 separate amendments to the bill, each of which made attempts at hampering the intrusiveness of FISA on American citizens. Those Senators were Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Rand Paul (R-KY). Each amendment was thoroughly defended by its respective sponsor, but each one was struck down after Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) demanded the bill be passed in its original House-approved form so it could quickly be signed by the President without the program being “interrupted” (it was set to expire in the new year). This morning the bill was renewed as law of the land 73-23, with Rand Paul among the NAY votes. See Senator Paul’s amendment proposal here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIyLlXBcbjo

The Senate then moved to consider 10 amendments to the “emergency” Hurricane Sandy Federal Relief bill. Every Amendment was struck down. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) proposed to add funding to the Republic of Palau, which was struck by a typhoon around the time of Hurricane Sandy. Jon Tester (D-MT) proposed adding $653 million to aid in relief for wildland fires in the Western part of the country. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed 4 amendments; to remove funding expenses related to future storm prevention, to to limit fisheries disaster relief aid to fisheries only within 50 miles of where the hurricane hit and thereby remove aid to Alaskan fisheries, to adjust the FEMA per capita indicator used to determine the necessity of disaster relief so it would account for inflation since 1986, and to require all Sandy relief contracts to have competitive bidding measures. Mike Lee (R-UT) proposed one amendment, which he withdrew before a vote. John McCain proposed one amendment, to strike from the bill $58 million designated for the U.S. Forest Service plant trees on private property. Rand Paul proposed 2 amendments; to strike the Davis-Bacon Act from the bill so as to bar federal agencies from enforcing prevailing wage law on federal construction projects, and to allot one year’s worth of funding as opposed to three and take $9 billion from foreign aid accounts to pay for it. Again: all amendments were struck down, and the final bill passed 62-32 with Rand Paul voting Nay. You can see Rand Paul’s second amendment proposal here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0M0jq5RJU&feature=youtube_gd...

In conclusion. Today’s Senate proposed 14 amendments to two bills. 12 of those amendments aimed either to protect the 4th Amendment rights of Americans or reduce the cost of a federal aid relief bill. Rand Paul voted for all of those 12 amendments. Of the 14 total amendments proposed, Rand Paul amendments comprised 3 of them (21%). He was seemingly outmatched only by Tom Coburn, who proposed 4 - but withdrew one before a vote took place. That puts Coburn at 3 total (21%).

Of the 100 elected U.S. Senators sent to Washington D.C. to represent you, only 5 proposed amendments to defend your liberty today. Of those 5, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Tom Coburn tied for proposing the most of those amendments. Today, 2 individuals out of 100 represented 42% of the net attempt at defending liberty in the U.S. Senate.