WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul delivered multiple speeches on the U.S. Senate floor regarding his opposition to the two-year federal debt and spending bill. In the dead of night, Senate leadership gathered the 60 votes needed to stop Sen. Paul’s filibuster and proceed to legislation raising the debt ceiling and breaking the spending caps promised in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Since coming to Washington in 2010, Sen. Paul has been an ardent opponent of Washington’s continued, reckless spending. Furthermore, Sen. Paul was opposed to any deal that gave the President an unlimited debt limit increase.
After cloture was invoked, Sen. Paul concluded his filibuster with a one-hour speech against the unholy alliance of right and left. At the end of his final speech, he raised a budget point of order that the bill violates Senate budget rules adopted earlier this year that protect the Social Security trust fund, ensuring we meet our obligations to seniors and not take that money to spend elsewhere. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill did exactly that. With this point of order Sen. Paul was appealing to his colleagues to remember our obligation to seniors. Unfortunately, Senators voted 64-35 to waive their own rules adopted earlier this year and proceed with spending the money.
A transcript of Sen. Paul’s remarks prepared for delivery and clips of his floor speeches are available below.
Sen. Paul: The number-one threat to our country’s future is our debt. The number-one threat to our national security is our debt. This deal gives the president the power to borrow unlimited amounts of money. This deal represents the worst of Washington culture. The left and the right have come together in an unholy alliance to explode the debt. The left gets more welfare. The right gets more military contracts. And the taxpayer is stuck with the deal. This is a bipartisan busting of the budget caps that will further indenture our next generation.
I promised the voters of Kentucky to oppose deficits, to oppose budgets that don’t balance and to spend only that which comes in. I will not give this president any power to borrow unspecified amounts of money. Our debt now equals our entire economy. Not raising the debt ceiling means we would be forced to only spend what comes in, also known as a balanced budget. I could accept that. But I could also accept a balanced budget that brings us to balance over five years. The debt threatens us like never before and now is the time to take a stand. I have traveled far and wide across America and I have not met one voter outside of D.C. Who supports adding an unlimited increase to the debt ceiling.
I hope my colleagues will listen and will listen very clearly to their constituents before voting for this terrible, rotten, no-good deal. The time is now to take a stand. The time is now to say enough is enough, no more debt. The very foundation of our country is threatened by the addition of debt. This is precisely the time when we should be using the leverage of raising the debt ceiling to exact budgetary reforms.
In 2011, that’s exactly what we did. We had the compromise that worked in the right direction. We had a compromise that said, we will set limits on both the military and the domestic spending. Instead what we have today is an unholy alliance of right and left. We wonder why the deficit grows no matter which party is involved, no matter which party is in charge. The deficit continues to grow because, frankly, many are not serious about reducing the debt.
Many up here are serious only about increasing spending for their sacred cow. The true compromise that is necessary in America is for both right and left to say, enough is enough. To say that the particular interest they have in spending money is hurting the country. It is time for the right to say, you know what? The country is not stronger by going further in debt. The country actually I believe is weaker. We do not project power from bankruptcy court. I think the time is now. Enough is enough. We shouldn’t be adding more debt. The left needs to acknowledge this as well.
The left may say, this is for humanitarian purposes. We want to help people. And I don’t doubt their motives but I do doubt whether you can help people from bankruptcy court. I think we are weakening our country. One of the reasons why we’ve been able to help so many people in our country is that we are the richest, most humanitarian country in the history of mankind. In the year 2014 alone, we gave away nearly $400 billion in private charity in this country. I fear that will not continue to last. I fear as this deficit mounts, as the debt mounts that it will drag us down.
Already some economists estimate that we’re losing a ton of medical jobs a year because of the burden of debt. I think what we need to do is have compromise in Washington but the compromise needs to be that the right and the left need to say we don’t have enough money at this point. Some say, well, we need to have military readiness, but this week in the defense committee and the armed services committee, they talked about $20 billion of waste in one program within the military. We’ve had secretaries of the cabinet departments, the secretary of the Navy saying that, you know what? We can save money within the Pentagon. But if we keep adding to the top line, if we keep adding more money, if we keep spending good money after bad, we’re going to bankrupt the country.
So I hope my colleagues will listen to their constituents because I’ve been in 40 of the 50 states and I have yet to meet a single voter who says keep adding to the debt, keep spending more money. What I find is the opposite. They say, work together to save the country. Work together not to add more debt. This debt-ceiling vote does something that is unprecedented. It doesn’t even add a certain amount to the debt. It adds an unspecified amount.
Over the next year, year and a half, we will add as much debt as can be crammed into the debt, as much money that can be spent. There will be no limits. We are giving an unspecified amount of borrowing power to the president. I don’t care whether it’s a Democrat president or a Republican president. It’s unconscionable to give unlimited borrowing authority to the president. As we contemplate this decision, we need to think beyond the short term, we need to think beyond the short term of self-constituencies on either side of the aisle and say enough’s enough. We don’t have the money. Let’s take a stand now and try to reform the process before it’s too late.