sen. r ky

The Tea Party may be Obamacare’s last best hope of survival
The Freedom Caucus’s stand against Ryancare, explained. Now, those same conservatives have emerged as the biggest early obstacle to Republicans’ efforts to pass the American Health Care Act, the bill put forth by House leadership to repeal and replace Obamacare. This week, six of the arch-conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus joined two of Senate’s most conservative members — Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) — for a press conference on the steps of the Capitol as a show of force, denouncing the GOP health care bill as “Obamacare Lite” and threatening to defeat it. Read more

Erick Erickson reports at The Resurgent:

I’m being told by folks on Capitol Hill that the Republicans’ swampcare bill is running into headwinds with conservatives. Though it has made it through its initial committee review, it seems conservatives are gathering steam and members are hearing from constituents who do not believe the legislation keeps its promises.

I would not be surprised if the train gets slowed down significantly as they consider big changes to get conservatives on board.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has declared that Trumpcare would be “dead on arrival.” Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) have all signaled opposition to the bill. The House Freedom Caucus does not seem willing to support it either.

There’s also the fact that some of the more liberal GOP senators will object to Trumpcare’s attempts to end Medicaid expansion by 2020 and its defunding of Planned Parenthood. Even though Trumpcare can pass the Senate with only 50 votes–with Vice President Mike Pence presumably being the tiebreaker–it would only take three Republican senators to derail Trumpcare.

—  The Daily Wire (AARON BANDLER)
Rand Paul Will Filibuster Debt Ceiling Bill

Rand Paul is disgusted that a debt ceiling increase could pass with Republican control of Congress, so he’s going to filibuster the bill to try to stop it.

Written by David Weigel for the Washington Post:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has called it a “slap in the face to conservatives.” Likely speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said the process that created it “stinks.” But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is the first Republican to pledge outright that he’ll try to scuttle the compromise debt limit bill designed to kick any tough new vote into 2017.

“I will filibuster the new debt ceiling bill,” Paul said at an event on the University of Colorado’s Denver campus. “It is horrible, it’s hard for me not to use profanity describing it.”

Paul also called the bill a “steaming pile of legislation,” and urged fellow Republicans to join him. But Paul made the same move in 2011, the first time that the debt limit became a serious bargaining chip between Congress and President Obama.

“We will filibuster until we talk about the debt ceiling, until we talk about proposals,” Paul said then, after agonizing negotiations produced a similar punt of the hard votes. “We will actually vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling next week if we can, but it will be contingent on passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”

In the end, the balanced budget amendment did not pass. The debt limit compromise did, without Paul’s vote. But Paul’s ambition for this bill is to deny unanimous consent on passage of the House bill, forcing the Senate to work through the weekend, ahead of the Nov. 3 debt limit expiration deadline stated by the Treasury. That, according to Paul’s team, would give Freedom Caucus members – already on record against the deal – time and space to mobilize opposition.

Since making the decision, Paul has heard from a few other senators who would join him in the slow-down. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not yet among them.