Sen. Paul vows to vote against 'extra-Constitutional' power to President

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (right) talks with Brian “Tiger” Gann (left) of Franklin before the Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday.

The Republican Party cheerleading session that is the Southern Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner veered slightly off course Saturday with this pronouncement by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green: “I can’t vote to give extra-Constitutional powers to the president.”

In a speech to the crowd of nearly 200 Republican officeholders and supporters at Western Kentucky University’s Augenstein Alumni Center, Paul interjected, in a speech devoted largely to praising the work of President Donald Trump, his opinion that Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border is a dangerous precedent.

“I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress,” Paul said just moments after drawing applause for his praise of some Trump policies and his ridicule of some congressional Democrats. “We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”

Paul’s pronouncement may mean a rebuff in the Senate of Trump’s plan to use emergency powers to funnel billions of dollars into building a wall at the border. The Democrat-led House of Representatives has already voted to reject the emergency powers, and the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on a similar proposal soon.

Three GOP senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – have already said they will vote to derail the emergency declaration. If Paul joins them and the Senate’s 47 Democrats, the president will need to veto the measure in order to get his emergency money.

But Paul’s announcement of his intention to vote against the emergency powers was the lone discordant moment in an event that is the Warren County Republican Party’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Paul himself lauded Trump for his judicial appointments, particularly Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He also called Trump’s State of the Union address a “great speech” and praised his stand against socialism and his comment that “great nations don’t fight endless wars.”

In his remarks, State Rep. Michael Meredith of Brownsville said: “This is a positive time to be a Republican in southcentral Kentucky.”

He cited the representation of Paul, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville and U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green as well as Republican control of the majority of statewide offices as signs that the GOP is on the upswing.

A night devoted to singing the GOP’s praises was also an opportunity for Republican candidates for some statewide offices to introduce themselves.

The guests at the dinner heard from Secretary of State candidates Michael G. Adams, general counsel for the Republican Governors Association; Andrew English, general counsel for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet in Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration; Steven Knipper, chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton; and Carl Nett, a former Secret Service agent who wants to run using the “Trump” nickname.

Also giving brief introductions were lieutenant governor candidates Ralph Alvarado, a Clark County physician and 28th District state senator who is on the ticket with Bevin; and Mike Hogan, who was selected as running mate by State Rep. Robert Goforth of Laurel County.

Attorney general candidates Wil Schroder – a state senator from Campbell County – and Daniel Cameron – former legal counsel to McConnell – were introduced along with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Bill Polyniak, president of the Kentucky Cannabis Co.

David Graham, chairman of the Warren County Republican Party, said the Lincoln Day Dinner has been held annually in Bowling Green for more than 20 years. He expected it to raise more than $5,000 this year.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

(7) comments

AllieK

Another Senator that refuses to do what is best for this country. Sad.

Worn Out 123

It is disappointing to see a long time Senator turn against the best interests this nation he is supposed to represent. Rand Paul has just displayed his true colors and they are ugly, indeed.
My advice to Senator Paul is not to run for president again. You will not be disappointed. You will be embarrassed by the results.

Enough Already

I understand why you are disappointed, I am also, but Rand is not a Republican; he is a libertarian much like Bernie is not a Democrat, he is a socialist and likely a communist.
I think Rand means well but he absolutely does not understand that our nation is at risk from authoritarians disguised as Democrats. He would not be so dogmatic in his views if he understood how close we are to a civil war. Email or call him. Our politicians weigh everything based on input from their constituency.
Democrats do not fight fair and take no prisoners. They will eat their own if it will advance their agenda, and make no mistake, they are collectivists at their core. They usually stick together because the cutoff of money for re-election is the overriding factor in the way they vote. It is not that severe for Republicans. They are much more pragmatic about the overall results so Rand is permitted his own views. This is probably the founders intent vs. the Democrats that vote as a block to oppose or advance legislation. Rand is still a better choice than ANYONE who runs as a Democrat. Democrats have sold their sole in advance of any election and you know what they will do once elected. This is not so obvious at the local levels of government and there are exception, but it is normal at the state and federal level.
That is the conundrum of being a Conservative/Republican. There are wild cards that tax our ability to understand what they are doing.
Side note: Mitch McConell can never be trusted because he pushes the Republican agenda at the expense of Conservatives, and yet he could benefit Kentucky just because of his position in the US Senate. If there ever was someone who had advanced beyond his competency, it is Mitch McConnell...

philzo48

[angry][angry]Very dissapointed in Ran Paul for not backing the President. He does have the right for using this money. It's high time Republicans start backing Donald Trump and quit playing into the democrats hands. When are the republicans going to stick together? Would you rather have HILLARY?
Y

Enough Already

Right you are!
Consider expressing your thoughts to him in an email.
https://www.paul.senate.gov/CONNECT/EMAIL-RAND

BGBlizzards

“I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress,” ...“We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”

News flash, Senator, it’s the law and has been for decades. President Trump isn’t doing anything new on this front. If HE shouldn’t have this power, neither should any other U.S. President. You and the rest of Congress are welcome to take this power back and actually do your damn job but I strongly suspect that isn’t your game. President Trump has bent over backwards trying to work with Congress to stop the border invasion to no avail. So he is only doing what Congress long ago gave Presidents the power to do. If it’s bad law, revoke it for Trump and ALL future Presidents. In the meantime, President Trump is following current law and you, sir, are obstructing border security. This makes me hope and pray that you get primaried when you’re up for re-election because a nation without borders is not a nation at all.

Enough Already

Well said!

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