Rand Paul: GOP Can't Block 'Politicized' Surgeon General Nominee

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 11:18 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Rand Paul says the president's nominee for surgeon general politicizes the office, but there is nothing he or fellow Republicans can do to stop confirmation.

Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said he is asking President Barack Obama to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy.

Murthy is president of Doctors for America, a group of 15,000 doctors and medical students who support Obamacare. Murthy also is an outspoken opponent of gun rights.

"Every other word that comes out of his mouth or through his tweets is something condemning gun owners, condemning the NRA," Paul said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."

He said he and his GOP colleagues will do what they can to filibuster the nomination, but there's little hope of succeeding: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "destroyed the filibuster."

Reid led Democrats in a November vote that imposed the "nuclear option," allowing for a simple majority for most presidential nominees rather than the previous 60 votes. Democrats have a 55-45 advantage in the Senate, meaning Republicans would need to sway six Democrats to defeat a nominee.

"We can object, we can vote against him, we can tell the public that we don't think it’s a good idea to politicize the position of surgeon general," Paul told host Sean Hannity. "But ultimately, he will have the power to roll over us because right now the Senate operates under the iron-fisted rule of one man, Harry Reid. What he says is what goes."

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