U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Politics
10:57 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Say Kentucky Not Buying Obamacare

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Rand Paul (r)
Credit U.S. Senate

In a rebuttal to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's editorial praising the Affordable Care Act, Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul argue Kentucky isn't buying into the president's health care law.

The health exchange dubbed Kynect launched on Tuesday allowing residents to shop for an insurance plan as part of the federal law, better known as Obamacare.

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Politics
7:59 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

U.S. Senator Rand Paul Shoots Down Kentucky Attorney General Opinion on Hemp Production

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., disagrees with Attorney General Jack Conway's opinion that industrial hemp farming remains illegal in Kentucky.

Earlier this year state lawmakers passed a bill allowing farmers to grow the crop if the federal government lifts a longstanding ban. 

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Politics
12:19 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Senator Rand Paul: Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws Target Racial Minorities

U.S. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws need to be changed in part because they disproportionately target African-Americans and Hispanics.

"If I told you that one out of three African-American males is forbidden by law from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow 50 years ago. Yet today, a third of African-American males are still prevented from voting because of the War on Drugs," Paul told fellow lawmakers. "The War on Drugs has disproportionately affected young black males."

Paul was testifying about the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which he is co-sponsoring along with Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

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The measure will expand the so-called "safety valve" allowing federal judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in qualifying drug cases.

This is also part of Paul's larger outreach effort to racial minorities, which has sparked a discussion among civil rights leaders and lawmakers in his home state.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Kentucky Senate Republican Leader Open to Giving Felon Voting Rights a Second Look

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,
Credit File photo

A day after U.S. Sen. Rand Paul called on Republican lawmakers in the Kentucky General Assembly to give restoration of felon voting rights a second look, a prominent GOP state senator says the caucus might be open to the idea.

Speaking at the Plymouth Community Renewal Center earlier this week, Paul said U.S. drug laws disproportionately effect racial minorities.

One of the consequences, Paul said, is voter disenfranchisement for African-Americans.

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Politics
10:44 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Respond to President Obama's National Address on Syria

Rand Paul

Kentucky lawmakers in Washington are reacting to President Obama's national address where he said he was asking Congress to postpone a vote on authorizing military strikes against Syria as the U.S. pursues diplomatic solutions.

Since the president first said he was seeking congressional approval for a limited attack on the Assad regime, members of the state's federal delegation have voiced either opposition or skepticism to the plan.

Poll numbers show the vast majority of Americans oppose U.S. intervention.

The president acknowledged the public's war weariness but outlined his rationale for why he believes the U.S. should get involved. At least one lawmaker was pleased with Obama's primetime address for clearing a path to diplomacy.

From Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth:

"It is in our national interest to delay a vote on military action against the Syrian government while we pursue diplomatic opportunities to force the Assad regime to surrender its chemical weapons. I strongly support this approach and, like all Americans, will continue to monitor these developments as the international community re-evaluates its responsibilities in Syria."

Others remained oppose to the idea of U.S. intervention, even as reports reflect the Russian government is persuading the Syrian government to release their chemical weapon stockpiles to avert U.S. strikes.

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Politics
12:02 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Congressman Hal Rogers Wants 'Precise' Details Before Favoring Syria Strike

Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers

Kentucky's longest serving member of Congress wants more details from President Obama before supporting the administration's resolution seeking military action against the Syrian government.

"The ongoing civil war in Syria is heartbreaking, but I have great reservations about intervening in Syria," says Congressman Hal Rogers, who was first elected in 1980.

Speaking at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, the president announced he will address the nation from the White House next week to make his case for intervention before the American public.

For the most part, Kentucky's federal delegates in the House and Senate are leaning against the mission. 

Congressman John Yarmuth, the lone Democrat, says he remains unconvinced by the Obama administration's argument.

Republican congressmen Andy Barr and Ed Whitfield have both voiced opposition while Brett Guthrie said via Facebook he would "listen carefully" as the administration makes its case.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been noticeably absent from the debate. But in a recent public appearance, McConnell said he would announce his position in "the coming days."

While Rogers, who chairs the powerful appropriations committee, told WFPL he has serious doubts about the mission, the GOP lawmaker also indicated he is open to being persuaded by Obama's argument.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Senator Rand Paul: President Obama Failed to Make Case Against Syria

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Credit U.S. Senate

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says President Obama has failed to make a compelling case for the U.S. to launch a military strike against Syria.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to give the president authority to do just that, with three Republican senators joining Democrats to support the resolution.

Paul voted against the resolution along with four Republicans and Democrats Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The resolution is now headed to the full Senate for a vote next week.

Paul says he isn't convinced a limited bombing of Syria will detour its government from using chemical weapons again, and he warns it could escalate violence in the region.

From Paul's office:

"We are told there is no military solution in Syria, yet we are embarking on a military solution. The president has failed to demonstrate a compelling American national interest in the Syrian civil war.

To be sure, there is a tragedy of a horrific nature in Syria, but I am unconvinced that a limited Syrian bombing campaign will achieve its intended goals. I frankly think that bombing Syria increases the likelihood of additional gas attacks, may increase attacks on Israel and turkey, may increase civilian deaths, may increase instability in the Middle East and may draw Russia and Iran further into this civil war.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Rand Paul Calls U.S. Involvement in Syria a 'Mistake,' Questions John Kerry's Assertions

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Saying it's a mistake for the U.S. to get involved in the Syrian civil war, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenged Secretary of State John Kerry's assertion that a military air strike is necessary.

Paul made the comments during his first ever appearance on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday morning.

Speaking to host David Gregory, Paul reversed a famous quote by Kerry when as a war veteran and anti-war activists he asked lawmakers in 1971 who should be the last solider to die in Vietnam.

"He's famous for saying, 'How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?'' Paul said. "I would ask John Kerry: How can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?'"

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Politics
4:40 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers React to President Obama Seeking Military Action Against Syria

President Barack Obama is seeking congressional approval for air strikes against Syria
Credit White House

Most Kentucky federal lawmakers are praising President Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization before taking military action against Syria, which the administration says has used chemical weapons against civilians and rebel forces.

Obama says the administration has intelligence that the Syrian regime claimed the lives of 1,429 people with chemical attacks, and that a limited and tailored air strike is necessary.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama said he reached out to leaders in Congress including Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who had requested a conference call with the White House to brief senators on Saturday.

From McConnell's office:

"Today the President advised me that he will seek an authorization for the use of force from the Congress prior to initiating any combat operations against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. The President’s role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress."

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who is often a supporter of the president's agenda, urged the Obama administration to outline its case for bombing Syria, and advised they seek approval from lawmakers.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott Talks Vacant Properties With Senator Rand Paul

Democratic Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Saying neighborhood concerns come before partisan politics, Democratic Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott says she had a chance to discuss the problem of vacant and abandoned properties with Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul recently.

Paul and Scott met at the Louisville Forum last week, where the senator was the featured speaker and addressed a number of issues.

Among the topics Paul talked about were voting rights for minorities where he said there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

But Scott—who is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee—says despite their  political differences Paul is committed to keeping the lines of communication open dilapidated housing.

"I am more concerned about finding solutions to some of our most pressing infrastructure and neighborhood needs than about partisan politics," she says. "Senator Paul and I have ideological differences on some issues, but we agree that we must be more aggressive in addressing abandoned and vacant properties which is a mutual area of concern."

A report shows swaths of empty homes are concentrated in parts of Scott's district, where up to 30 percent of properties are vacant. In a statement, Paul said he is interested in Scott's perspective on how to remove those abandoned properties in west Louisville.

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