Rand Paul (R-Ky.) criticized his fellow Republicans on Thursday after they rejected his amendment which would cut $43 billion in defense spending from the 2018 budget. Paul said his colleagues were using a technicality to surpass spending caps.
“We have a $20 trillion debt – it’s about whether we’re serious about tackling that debt,” Paul said, accusing leaders of planning to “hide” additional funds in a war fund cache that is separate from the budget – known as Overseas Contingency Operations – to get bypass the caps.
Only four other Senators voted in favor of Paul’s amendment: Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
While Ted Cruz (R-Texas) briefly considered supporting Paul and Lee, he ultimately voted against the spending cuts.
Paul expressed his discontent with his colleagues on Twitter Tuesday evening, saying, “Nearly all Republican Senators just failed a litmus test on cutting spending.”
The Kentucky Senator has consistently argued for across the board tax cuts, while calling on the federal government to cut spending across the board.
“What I’m asking us to do is be responsible, budget for this, actually act like we really believe in what we say that the debt is a problem,” he tweeted.
While Paul’s spending cuts amendment failed, the budget passed with a 51-49 vote. Paul was the only Republican to vote “no.”
President Trump tweeted Friday morning, “The Budget passed late last night, 51 to 49. We got ZERO Democrat votes with only Rand Paul (he will vote for Tax Cuts) voting against…..”