Before we get into this week's events, Kelley and I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas! We recorded a special Christmas message for you that you can watch HERE.
May your holiday season be filled with joy and peace as we close the book on 2017 and welcome in a new year.
You can find my latest update from a busy week in Washington below!
Dr. Rand Paul Applauds Passage of Tax Reform
On Wednesday, the Senate delivered on its promise of allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money by passing tax reform, a commitment I worked to hold it to by fighting to make sure the bill became a bigger and better tax cut and included repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate.
I applaud this reform, which will lead to economic growth, greater business investment, and new opportunities for the American people.
This legislation repeals the burdensome Obamacare individual mandate that punishes Americans who do not purchase health insurance, and it nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and married couples, while also leveling the playing field for our job creators.
Already, we are seeing this legislation make a difference, as major companies have announced changes following its passage, including raising workers' salaries, providing $1,000 bonuses, increasing giving to charity, and investing more funds here at home.
Before the vote, I stated in my video message from Washington this week (which you can watch HERE) that the bill is a good start to bringing tax relief to every Kentuckian, and I urged Congress to support it so we could go into the holidays knowing we honored our promise.
As we approach a new year, I look forward to continuing the fight for limited government, lower taxes, and individual liberty for all.
Dr. Rand Paul Offers Congress a Chance to Stick to Budget Caps
Shortly before the Senate voted last night to fund the government through January 19, I forced it to also hold a vote on abiding by Congress' own PAYGO ("Pay As You Go") budget requirements instead of once again ignoring them.
"We have a real problem in our country, and we must do something about it. Ultimately, there will be a day of reckoning. You cannot continue to borrow so much money," I said on the Senate floor.
"Who's willing to say, 'You know what? I'm for tax cuts, but I'm also for saying, across the board, we need to have spending restraint,'" I asked my fellow senators.
Though the Senate opposed my attempt to rein in its spending, I will continue speaking out as debate resumes in January.
You can find my speech from Thursday night HERE.
|(Dr. Paul Challenges the Senate to Stop Running Up the Debt - December 21, 2017) |
Dr. Rand Paul and Sen. Ron Wyden Lead Bipartisan Press Conference to Call for Reform of Government's Surveillance Tools
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Senators Mike Lee (Utah), Patrick Leahy (Vermont), and Steve Daines (Montana) joined Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) and me for a bipartisan press conference to discuss Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was scheduled to expire at the end of December, and the need to protect Americans' civil liberties through FISA reform.
During the event, I called for "a full-throated debate on reforming, controlling, and overseeing this enormous power we allow our intelligence community to have."
Demonstrating how support for surveillance reform crosses political lines and unites Americans, we were also joined at the event by representatives from both the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks and the ACLU.
As I have previously mentioned, Senator Wyden and I introduced the USA Rights Act (S. 1997) in October to reform Section 702 of FISA and end warrantless backdoor searches of Americans' calls, emails, texts, and other communications that are routinely swept up under a program designed to spy on foreign targets.
When Congress voted to fund the government for a few more weeks last night, the resolution also temporarily extended Section 702. At our Tuesday press conference and throughout the week, I made it clear I will oppose any long-term reauthorization of warrantless searches of American citizens, and this includes filibustering such an attempt, if necessary. We must have a serious, meaningful debate, and we must have reform.
You can watch video of my and Senator Wyden's opening remarks at our press conference HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Meets with the Caudill Seed Company
On Thursday, I had an opportunity to meet with Dan and Corey Caudill from the Caudill Seed Company, which is based in Louisville.
We talked about Caudill Seed's background and operations, and we also discussed topics including the state of their industry and reducing bureaucratic overreach.
|(Dr. Paul with the Caudill Seed Company - December 21, 2017) |
Dr. Rand Paul Releases Special "Festivus" Edition of The Waste Report
Today, I released a special "Festivus: Airing of Grievances for 2017" edition of The Waste Report, which again shines a spotlight on wasteful spending and misplaced priorities that put taxpayers on the hook for the federal government's bad management.
In its three years, my Waste Report series has documented approximately $6 billion in wasteful spending.
This year's collection also includes excerpts from "Worldwide Waste: How the Government is Using and Losing Your Money Abroad," a 2017 Waste Report series that documented more than $3 billion of wasteful, taxpayer-funded endeavors overseas.
Highlights from the Festivus Waste Report include the IRS failing to recover over $76 million in "unallowable expenses" to government contractors, and the Department of Transportation spending $1.5 million on a park bathroom in Queens, NY.
You can find my "Festivus: Airing of Grievances for 2017" edition of The Waste Report, which totals up over $560 million in waste, HERE.
This week, I was interviewed on shows including Fox News' America's Newsroom and spoke on the radio with Leland Conway and Tom Roten. I also had a chance to discuss FISA reform with Circa, and you can read their report HERE.
Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a Kentucky resident and need assistance with a federal agency, please feel free to contact my Bowling Green office at 270-782-8303. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
Stay in Touch with Dr. Paul on Social Media
You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my Senate website, www.paul.senate.gov, or my official Facebook and Twitter pages. You can watch my Senate floor speeches and press interviews at my YouTube channel HERE.