Continuing Appropriationsby Senator Rand Paul
Posted on 2013-10-09
PAUL. Mr. President, let's be very clear here today. Republicans
have come to the floor to reopen the government. We have offered
request after request to reopen the government. We have offered to
negotiate. From the other side, we hear: We will not negotiate, we will
not compromise, and we will not reopen the government.
We have offered 13 different compromises today to reopen the government. We are willing to open the government.
They say: You must agree to everything or we will open nothing. We will not compromise.
We say to them: Why don't we open the parts of government we agree on? Can we not end this farce of putting security guards in front of the World War II Memorial? My goodness, it is an open park. They spent more money closing it than we spend keeping it open. We spend more money guarding the World War II monument than we do protecting our Ambassador in Libya. It has become a farce.
Eighty-five percent of your government is open. We have offered today to open another 10 percent. Compromise means coming together and voting on some of the things on which you agree.
Every program we have wanted to open today--the national parks, NIH, Veterans Affairs, allowing funerals, for goodness' sakes, for our military heroes who have died in action--they say: We agree to it, but we won't agree to it.
So let's be very clear. Republicans have offered today very specific proposals for opening the government. The Democrats have uniformly rejected every appeal to open the government. So when one of our heroes can't have a funeral, when one of our people cannot be buried in Arlington Cemetery, when a World War II veteran goes to the monument and is barricaded and kept from viewing the monument to celebrate their service, be very clear that Republicans have asked to open the government, and the Democrats have rejected opening it at every point. In fact, they are very explicit with their strategy. We will not negotiate, they say. The President says he will not negotiate under pressure. My question is, When will he negotiate? We have had one good thing happen for the American taxpayer in the last 5 years. The bad thing is $7 trillion has been added to your kids' and your grandkids' tab. One good thing happened, and it happened under duress, and it happened with regard to the debt ceiling. The sequester actually cut the rate of growth of spending. It didn't cut spending, but it is cutting the rate of growth of spending. The sequester [[Page S7334]] happened under duress. The other side loves debt, loves spending, and doesn't care how much your kids or grandkids will have. They don't care. They have rejected every compromise.
What we are saying is that $7 trillion of debt under President Obama is too much. The country is struggling. Economists say 1 million people are out of work because of the economy and because of the debt and because of the burden. And what do they want to do? Heap more debt on your kids and grandkids. I say enough is enough.
Let's reopen the government. Republicans today have said we will open the government. Let's open the parts we can agree to.
I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to consideration of Calendar No. 207 for H.J. Res. 70 to open the national parks, to make continuing appropriations for the year 2014; that the measure be read three times and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.