Rand Paul M.D.U.S. Senator Class 3
[R] Kentucky, United States

Length: 4 minutes, 31 seconds

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, currently Congress has about a 10-percent approval rating. One of the reasons is that we don't even obey our own rules.

For goodness' sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning. Not one Member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it. We are going to vote on this in the next 30 minutes. I, Senator Lee, and others will object to this. We will have a point of order that our own rule says it has to be posted online for 48 hours. It is 600 pages, and nobody will read it. No wonder our approval rating is 10 percent. Nobody knows what we are voting on. In fact, provisions were stuck in this bill last night that have nothing to do with any of these bills. They have been stuck in and we are just now discovering it. I passed two Senators in the hall who are trying to get something out of this bill that affects their States, which they found out about just minutes ago. Nobody would have known about it if they had not found out about it.

There are three bills in question here: transportation, student loans--on the student loan bill, originally we had loans at 6 percent, and it was somehow bringing in money to the Treasury. We were using that money to pay for ObamaCare. Now it is at 3 percent, and that money is gone. Where is the money to pay for ObamaCare? We have a shell game up here. We say one thing will pay for it, and now this will pay for it--the money disappears.

Now they are saying they are going to pay for this by taking money out of pensions. Raise your hand if you think it is a good idea to underfund pensions more. Over half of the pensions in this country are technically insolvent because they don't have enough money to pay for them. Is it a good idea to have less money go into workers' pensions to pay for a student loan program? I have a bill in Congress that says we should read the bill before we pass it. We should wait 1 day for each 20 pages, to be given time to read 600-page bills. At the very least, we ought to adhere to our own rules. They say it should be posted online at least 48 hours. Forty-eight hours is still a challenge to find out everything in here. Do you know how long the Federal Register is--55,000 pages, which is added to annually. When you read this, you have to refer to the Federal Register, which is hundreds of thousands of pages, to find out what they stuck in this bill in the dead of night. This isn't the way we should operate.

The American people want to know why do we say the government is not going to do something for 3 days. What were they doing the previous 3 months? The other side hasn't produced a budget in 3 years. That is against the rules. The rules of the Senate say you must produce a budget, and they didn't do it for 3 years. When we presented them with a budget that we wrote for them, nobody voted for it, and zero on the other side voted for their own President's budget.

How are we going to compromise if they are not showing up for work? How are we going to get anything done if they don't obey their own rules? I will raise a point of order in the next hour that says that we have broken the rules of the Senate, and I will ask them to vote on it. I fully expect that the Parliamentarian will rule in our favor. We will see. The other side will simply close their eyes to the rules, and they won't care what the Parliamentarian says, and they will overturn this by saying: We are the majority, and we deem it so. We are the majority, and we don't care what is in the bill or to take time to read the bill; we just deem it so.

I think this is why the American people are unhappy with what is going on here. I object strenuously. I will vote against this, and I will raise a point of order that says we should read the bill before we pass it.