Rand Paul: Attach ‘thousands of instructions’ to every spending bill
BY SUSAN FERRECHIO | JANUARY 13, 2015 | 2:15 PM
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the 2015 Conservative Policy Summit at the Heritage Foundation…
Sen. Rand Paul, a prospective candidate for president, on Tuesday told a group of conservatives that Congress should play a much larger role in dictating how the federal government spends taxpayer money.
The Kentucky Republican called for “thousands of instructions” to be attached to every spending bill and for Congress to approve most regulations that come with a price tag.
“That would go a long way toward reasserting our authority and restoring the balance of power,” Paul said at the Conservative Policy Summit, an event sponsored by Heritage Action for America.
Paul, however, said he supports legislation that would give the president the power to secure international trade deals and push them quickly through Congress, without amendments.
He acknowledged the argument that the legislation could give the president excessive power, but he pointed to the positive impact of trade deals in America, most notably cheaper goods for the poor.
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“I’ve weighed the good and the bad, and I think the good of trade have caused me to vote for the things that aren’t perfect,” Paul said.
Heritage has been showcasing top GOP conservatives at its two-day event. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, were among the Republicans who spoke Monday.
Heritage President Jim DeMint, a former GOP senator from South Carolina, called Paul “a fresh face on the political scene and very important to the conservative movement.”
Paul, however, has been at odds with conservatives, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.
DeMint said Paul’s brand of libertarianism can work well with conservatives if it adds “the conservative values of a strong society and guarantees of a strong defense.”
As he positions himself to enter the GOP presidential primary, Paul has tried to appeal to both libertarians and conservatives. He told the audience Tuesday he remains eager to debate legislation authorizing use of military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Paul said the United States has two choices — withdraw completely from Iraq and the other areas of conflict in the Middle East, or work to protect American interests there.
“I think at this point we defend our interests,” Paul said, adding, “That doesn’t mean we have to get involved in every war.”
During his appearance, Paul tried to convert a room full of conservatives to support judicial activism. He said the judicial system should “mete out justice,” when needed, such as in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the “separate but equal” public education for black students.
Paul said the court’s 2012 ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act is an example of faulty judicial restraint.
“I don’t want judges writing laws, either,” Paul told the crowd. “But do I want judges to protect my freedom? I think this is important and it became very important in the case of Obamacare.”