Congressional Democrats have known for the past two months that Friday night's deadline was coming, so there was plenty of time for them to pass a funding resolution in the Senate rather than to wait until the last minute once again, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. told Newsmax on Thursday.
"You would think they would do a little bit of planning," Paul told "John Bachman Now." "If you want to pass something in the Senate, it takes about a week to pass something unless you do it unanimously."
A group of conservative senators says they will oppose passing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, through a stop-gap measure, unless funding for the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for the private sector is stopped.
Paul said Thursday he does think it is important to debate the funding, as he thinks there should not be any for the mandates, but at the same time, he does not want to shut down the government.
But if the government does shut down, that is because of the Democrats' actions — not the Republicans' — because the Democrats want to deny a debate on the vaccine mandate funding and on the amendment that has been proposed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to defund the mandate, Paul said.
"I'm being told that the amendment vote is tricky because the Democrats are afraid we will win," Paul said. "It's a simple majority. [They think] one or two Democrats may vote with us not to fund the mandates, so they're going to try to prevent the debate over the vaccine mandates."
But, by preventing the debate, that makes it a "matter of perspective" over who to blame for a shutdown, but the Democrats would be the ones at fault, Paul argued.
"The Democrats have the ability to do whatever they want," Paul said. "They're in the majority, but they have to plan. They haven't planned for this, but they also haven't planned for the raising of the debt ceiling. We're going to have another problem in two weeks. They're going to come to the last day and say the Republicans won't let us do it.
"It's incompetence on the part of [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer that he can't get this stuff done in a timely fashion."
Meanwhile, the House has proposed spending $400 million through the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act to expand the CDC's power to gather information from public health departments, and Paul said the government "may as well burn" the money "in a pile" rather than to allow Dr. Anthony Fauci to have more funding.
"Do you think if we give the government $400 million more that Dr. Fauci will all of a sudden start paying attention to natural immunity, deciding and studying how much of an effect natural immunity has in overcoming this virus?" Paul said. "Giving them $400 million to continue to ignore natural immunity would be just throwing money away."
Further, the immunization push is "all based on a big lie," Paul said. "The big lie is that people are not getting vaccinated, as 99.9% of people age 50-64 have gotten vaccinated.
"The real truth of this is the vaccine has been overwhelmingly popular and the vast majority of people at risk for this disease have been vaccinated, so we don't need a mandate on people. People are choosing to be vaccinated, and that's a good thing."
Vaccine mandates, though, are "simply to condition us to submit to the state, to submit to one authority," Paul said. "If you let them win on this, it'll never end. They will never let go of us. They will never let go of our health care. They will command everything we do every day. Every medicine we take. We cannot let them have this much of power accumulated in the hands of one person."
It is also premature to panic about the omicron coronavirus mutation or to start banning travel again.
"I don't think the bans the previous administration worked, or the ones in this administration [will]," he said.
"It's already here," he added. "They're not willing to ban anybody coming across the border illegally, so that means they don't care about this at all. But it will mean great destruction of tourism and travel if you put more requirements on it. People like me are going to say, the heck with it: I'm not going to submit all your poking and prodding in order just to travel."
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