Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rand Paul temporarily blocked this 180-page bill so Congress can actually read it

Just in time for the weekend, here’s some actually good news out of Washington.

Republican leadership in Congress was rushing a vote on a chemical safety bill which has wide bipartisan support—it already passed the House with just 12 “nay” votes. Next step was the Senate, where a vote was supposed to happen on Thursday.

Not so fast, said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). This bill, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, is 180 pages long, and it became available for senators to start reading just three days ago.

Needless to say, Paul hasn’t had a chance to read it all yet (and if they were honest, probably no one else in the senate has either).

“One of the pledges I made to the people of Kentucky when I came here was that I would read the bills,” Paul said. “This bill came here on Tuesday. It’s 180 pages long. It involves new criminalization, new crimes that will be created at the federal level. It includes preemption of states.”

“And so,” he added, “I think it deserves to be read, to be understood and to be debated, and so I object to just rushing this through and saying ‘Oh, you can’t read the bill.’”

Paul was able to single-handedly delay the vote for two weeks—plenty of time for the senator and his colleagues to find out what new crimes they’re about to add to our already absurdly large and complicated criminal code....