Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) forced his own party’s leadership to yank a bill off the floor of the Senate on Thursday over refugee housing, a significant political and policy victory for the Kentucky Senator and 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
Paul also blasted Senate leadership on Thursday for not considering his amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill that would have blocked any current refugees in the United States from getting public housing.
“Well I think what boggles my mind is the biggest issue in our country right now is keeping us safe from attack,” Paul told Breitbart News on Thursday afternoon when reached by phone. “My amendment tells the president that we don’t approve of bringing more people here from the Middle East until we have adequate controls on who’s here already. My amendment was not only pertinent to the biggest issue of the day, it was also germane to the bill. Both parties tried to stop me from offering it and that’s a tragedy.”
Paul’s amendment to the so-called T-HUD funding bill would have cut off public housing funding for refugees in America right now.
After the establishment in both political parties tried to stop him, but failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled consideration of the full T-HUD bill from the Senate floor. McConnell canceled all scheduled votes on the bill on Thursday, and sent the U.S. Senate home for the weekend, because he couldn’t figure out how to block Paul.
Paul said in a statement:
As you may have seen, Senate leadership filed cloture on the Transportation and Housing Bill, without my germane amendment on welfare for new refugees. This is an outrage and I will not back down. I will oppose cloture as long as this amendment is being blocked by Senate leaders of both parties. will use all available Senate rules and procedures to force them to use all possible time. My request is simple – an up or down vote on his Amendment to cut off welfare to new refugees. We should be pause the refugee program while we fix it and ensure national security is addressed. This vote is to send a message to President Obama to halt this program now.
The significance of what just happened can’t be understated. Paul just took on the Senate Majority Leader of his own political party–who’s also from his own state of Kentucky–and won. Now, the next stages of the battle begin and it’s unclear where this goes from here.
Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle contributed reporting to this story.