Sen. Rand Paul Votes Against Budget Deal, Says Sequester Better

Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 07:41 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Rand Paul voted against the Ryan-Murray bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday, partly because he says current law is better than that legislation.

Current law includes budget caps from the 2011 sequester, and the new agreement gives relief to those.

"I think this is a step backwards for the country," Paul told CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" after Wednesday's 64-36 vote to pass the bill.

The House approved the bill last week, and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Blitzer asked whether it wasn't good that the bill prevents another government shutdown for the next two years, but Paul called that a "false choice." There are more alternatives, he said, than the budget deal or a shutdown.

"A shutdown's not good, but I'm worried about the future of the country," Paul said. "I'm worried about a $17 trillion debt, and I'm worried about the fact that we're borrowing $1 million every minute."

Paul also opposed the bill because it cuts retirement benefits to current military veterans under age 62 – including combat-wounded veterans. Paul was among a group of Republican senators who wanted an amendment to restore those benefits.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, one of the deal's architects along with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, has said cutting benefits to wounded vets was a mistake that will be corrected after the law is passed.

"Right now, there's not much collegiality going on. It's a poisonous atmosphere where the majority is just shoving things down the throat of the minority," Paul said. "And because of it, we can't fix legislation like this."



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