Senator Rand Paul is asking for a PENNY PLAN to pay off the debt.
Everyone should read this and notify your Congressmen that we have to have a PENNY PLAN to help pay for our debt – we have to start somewhere. If these departments can’t relinquish one penny for every dollar to go toward the debt – then kick them out and get someone in that department that can save one penny. That is nothing but greed.
This is the Congressional Record that reflects how these people vote and spend our money. After reading this – it only reflects on how the government manipulates the spending to steal from the people. I certainly go along with the Senator on how this can be corrected and that is – you can only add money if you take it from an other area.
Each department has to be audited and the money accounted for. This business of the Pentagon not being able to account for 800 million dollars and this year budgeted millions more when they can’t account for that amount should be rectified before getting any more money. Also, the State Department was missing $600 million when Hillary Clinton left – was that every rectified?
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Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
October 24, 2017
115th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 163, No. 171 — Daily Edition
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House of Representatives
BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP ACT OF 2017–Continued
(Senate – October 24, 2017)
[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 171 (Tuesday, October 24, 2017)]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP ACT OF 2017–Continued
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, we currently have a $20 trillion debt.
Now, we might ask ourselves, whose fault is it, Republicans or
Democrats? The easy answer is both. Both parties are equally
responsible, equally culpable, and equally guilty of ignoring the debt,
ignoring the spending problem, and really I think allowing our country
to rot from the inside out.
This year, the deficit will be $700 billion, for just 1 year for our
country, $700 billion. We borrow about $1 million a minute.
Under George W. Bush, the debt went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion.
Under President Obama, it went from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. It is
doubling under Republicans and Democrats.
Right now, we are in the midst of another spending frenzy.
People will say: Well, we are spending the money for something good. We are
going to help those in Puerto Rico, in Texas, and in Florida. My point
is, if we are going to spend money to help someone in need, maybe we
should take it from another area of spending that is less in need. I
think that just simply borrowing it–even for something you can argue
is compassionate–is really foolhardy and may make us weaker as a
Admiral Mullen put it this way. He said: The No. 1 threat to our
national security is our debt.
In fact, most people who follow world politics–while we do have problems around the world–don’t really see
us being invaded anytime soon by an army or an armada, but people do
see the burden of debt.
So what we have before us is a bill, $36 billion, much of it going to
Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida. My request is very simple: We should
pay for it.
About 1 month ago, we had $15 billion for the same purposes. We are
set, in all likelihood, to have over $100 billion spent on these
hurricanes. I simply ask that we take it from some spending item that
seems to be less pressing. We could go through a list of hundreds and
hundreds of items.
One thing I think we could start with is why don’t we quit sending
money to countries that burn our flag? If you are a country saying:
“Death to America,” burning the American flag, maybe we shouldn’t
give you any money. We give money to Pakistan, we trade and sell arms
with most of the Middle East, which does not like us, and we do this
with borrowed money. We don’t even have the money we are sending, but
we can make the burden a little less if we say: Let’s not give any
money to countries that hate us, to any country burning our flag.
In Pakistan, there is a Christian woman by the name of Asia Bibi. She
has been on death row for 5 years for being a Christian. She went to
the well to draw water, and the women of the village began chanting,
“Death. Death to the Christian.” As she was being beaten and pummeled
on the ground and thought she was going to die, the police finally
showed up. She thought they were there to rescue her. They were there
to imprison her. They took her off to prison. That was 5 years ago. It
is not easy being Christian in the Middle East.
In Pakistan, there was a doctor who helped us get bin Laden. His name
is Afridi. He also has been in jail now for about 5, 6 years. He helped
get us information that helped us to target bin Laden and finally get
this great enemy of our country. The Pakistanis put him in jail for
The Pakistanis help us one day and stab us in the back the next day.
When the Taliban was defeated under President Obama, when he put
100,000 troops in there, they scurried off into Pakistan, they had a
sanctuary, and then they came back. I think we ought to think twice
about sending money to countries that burn our flag, sending money to
countries that persecute Christians, sending money to countries that,
frankly, don’t even like us.
We spend about $30 billion helping other countries. If you were going
to help your neighbor, if your neighbor was without food, would you
first feed your children, and if you have a little money left over,
help the children next door? That is what most people would do. If you
are going to give money to your church or synagogue, would you go to
the bank and borrow the money to give to somebody? Would that be
compassionate or foolhardy? Is it compassionate to borrow money to give
it to someone else?
People here will say they have great compassion, and they want to
help the people of Puerto Rico and the people of Texas and the people
of Florida, but notice they have great compassion with someone else’s
money. Ask them if they are giving any money to Puerto Rico. Ask them
if they are giving money to Texas. Ask them what they are doing to help
their fellow man. You will find often it is easy to be compassionate
with somebody else’s money, but it is not only that. It is not only
compassion with someone else’s money, it is compassion with money that
doesn’t even exist, money that is borrowed. Of the $20 trillion we owe,
China holds $1 trillion of that.
All this might be said, and you might say: We just have to help
people. You are worrying too much. Do you have to talk about details?
Really, all the money is being well spent. If you look back at money
that has been spent before on disasters, guess what–people replace
everything, including things that weren’t broken.
I remember, in Katrina, a family who was holed up in a beachside
resort for weeks with taxpayer money. They could have put them up
across the street for about $60 or $50 a night. They were staying in a
$400-a-night beachside resort with government money, with FEMA money.
I think we have to look at how well government spends money.
Do you want an example of how well government spends money? Last year, we had some great science. There was a lot of great taxpayer-funded science
They wanted to study whether Neil Armstrong, when he set foot
on the Moon, said: “One small step for mankind” or whether he said:
“One small step for a man.” So it was either “One small step for
man” or “One small step for a man.” They wanted to know if the
article “a” was in there. So they took money that was actually
intended for a good purpose–to study autism–and they studied Neil
Armstrong’s statement when he landed on the Moon, $700,000.
In the NIH last year, they spent $2 million studying whether, if
someone in front of you in the buffet line sneezes on the food, are you
more or less likely to eat the food that has been sneezed on? I think
we could have polled the audience on that one.
They spent $300,000 studying whether Japanese quail are more sexually
promiscuous on cocaine. I think we could probably just assume yes.
This kind of stuff goes on year after year. You think: Oh, those are
aberrations. That is new.
William Proxmire was a Senator–a conservative Democrat back in the
day–and he used to do something called the Golden Fleece Award. He
would put out these awards. They sound exactly the same as the stuff we
are finding now.
We spent money studying the gambling habits of Ugandans. We have
studied how to prepare the Philippines for climate change. You name it,
we are studying it around the world, with money we don’t have.
If you want to make the argument: We are running a surplus, we are a
great country, we are going to help all the other countries of the
world–I would actually listen to you if we were running a surplus, but
we are not. We are running a $700 billion deficit. We borrow $1 million
We have a lot of rich people here. We ought to ask these rich
Senators: What have you given to Puerto Rico? What are you giving to
Texas? Instead, they are giving your money. They are really not even
giving your money. They are giving money they borrowed.
So what am I asking? Not that we not do this. What I am asking is:
Why don’t we take it from something we shouldn’t be doing or why don’t
we try to conserve? So if you decided you want to help the people next
door, you might say: I am not going to the movie theater. I am not
going to go to the Broadway play. I am not going to the NFL game.
I am going to save money by cutting back on my expenses so I can help the
people next door who are struggling, the father and mother out of work,
and they need my help–but you wouldn’t go to the bank and ask for a
loan to help people.
That is not the way it works, unless you are a government.
Then common sense goes out the window, and you just spend money right and left because you are compassionate, you have a big heart, because you have the ability of the Federal Reserve just to print out more money.
There are ultimately ramifications to profligate spending. We are
approaching that day. Some say you get there when your debt is at 100
percent of your GDP. We have now surpassed that.
We have about a $17 trillion, $18 trillion economy, and we have a $20 trillion debt. Is it getting any better? Have we planned on fixing it at all? No, there is
no fixing. Is one party better than the other? No, they are equally
bad. They are terrible. One side is at least honest.
They don’t care about the debt. The other side is just hypocrites because they say: We are going to win the election by saying we are conservative, we care
about the debt, but they don’t. The debt gets worse under both parties.
Voters need to scratch their head and say: Maybe they are both equally
bad with regard to the debt.
Most of the debt is driven by this. It is driven by mandatory
spending. What is mandatory spending? These are the entitlements,
Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security.
This is driving the debt. It is on autopilot.
So when we talk about a budget, nobody is
talking about doing anything about the spending on autopilot. Why?
It is risky to talk about reforming entitlements because everybody is
getting one. If we don’t, though, we are consigned to more and more
debt, and ultimately I think we are consigned to resign to a time in
which the currency may well be destroyed and the country could be eaten
from the inside out through this massive debt.
Last week, we voted on a budget. From appearances, you would say:
Well, the Republicans put forth a conservative budget. It had $6
trillion worth of entitlement savings. In the first year, it had $96
billion worth of entitlement savings.
But ask one Republican, ask any Republican in Congress `
`Where is your $96 billion worth of entitlement spending coming from?” and most of them wouldn’t even know it was in the budget.
It is in the budget to make it look good and look as if it balances over 10 years. Yet there is no plan to do anything to entitlement spending. There is no plan to
do any entitlement savings. There is no bill in committee and no bill
to come forward.
I introduced an amendment to the budget.
I said: Well, if you are going to cut or save or somehow transform the entitlements into responsible spending, where we spend what comes in and we don’t borrow,
why don’t we put rules or reconciliation instructions into the budget
to tell people that, yes, we are honest, we are sincere, and we are
actually going to cut spending?
Do you know how many people voted for it? There are 52 Republicans; we had 5. They say they are for spending cuts, but they are not really because nobody will vote to give the instructions to actually do the spending cuts.
The budget we typically vote on is called discretionary spending.
This is the military and nonmilitary. If you were to eliminate all of
that, you still wouldn’t balance the budget. That is one-third of the
budget. You can’t even balance the budget by eliminating one-third of
You have to tackle the entitlements.
Yet nobody has the wherewithal, the guts, or the intestinal fortitude to actually do it.
We did have a big fix once upon a time on Social Security. In 1983,
President Reagan and Tip O’Neill–Republican and Democrat–came
say that we were out of money, and we gradually raised the age of
Social Security to 67. Is anybody happy to do that? Is anybody jumping
up and down, saying: Oh, I want to wait longer to get Social Security.
No, nobody is, but if we don’t do it, there will be no Social Security
because we are destroying the system.
Social Security pays out more than it brings in. Once upon a time, it
was the other way around. We used to have about 16 workers for every
retiree. Now we have a little bit less than three workers for every
retiree. Families got smaller.
People ask me: Why are Social Security and Medicare running a
deficit? Whose fault is it–Republicans or Democrats? Really, it is a
little bit of both, but it is also the fault of your grandparents for
having too many kids.
A whole bunch of baby boomers were born, and they
are all retiring, but the baby boomers had fewer kids, and the baby
boomers’ kids had even fewer kids, so it is a demographic shift.
If we put our heads in the sand and do nothing, the debt will
continue to accumulate.
We are accumulating debt by the billions of
dollars every year. This year, it is $700 billion, and it is estimated
that it will be close to or may exceed $1 trillion next year.
During President Obama’s tenure, we had deficits of over $1 trillion in
several years. Over an 8-year period, we actually increased the debt
over $1 trillion a year. There was about a $10 trillion increase in the
debt in the 8 years of President Obama.
If we look at whose fault it is, Republicans or Democrats, it is
both. But I will tell you the way it works around here. People say that
it is noble, that you are enlightened if you compromise.
So here is the compromise you get. You heard that four of our brave young men died in Niger the other day. Most of the people here didn’t even know we were
there, to the tune of 1,000 soldiers. Once they heard about it–the
hawks–they said: Oh, we need more.
They didn’t know 1,000 were there, but they said that we need more there, that we need more people in Niger.
No one has bothered to have a debate over what the war in Niger is
about, whether we should be there, and whether we should send our
brave, young men and women there.
Our Founding Fathers said that was the first principle–the first principle of going to war. The initiation of war, the declaration of war, is to be done by Congress.
They specifically took that power away from the President. It is not
just about funding, although that is another way we control war, but
the primary way we control whether we enter into war is the declaration
It is under article I, section 8.
This is where the congressional powers are laid out. People say: Oh, that is an
anachronism; we don’t obey that anymore. They certainly don’t. But it
was never removed from the Constitution; they just quit and began
How important was this to our Founding Fathers? Madison wrote this.
Madison said that the executive is the branch of government most prone
to war; therefore, the Constitution, with studied care, granted the
power of war to the legislature.
It wasn’t just Madison who said this; it was Jefferson, Washington, Adams. The whole panoply of Founding Fathers said that war was to be initiated by Congress.
We have had no vote, no debate, and most of the Members didn’t know
we were in this part of Africa.
Yet here we are. But the knee-jerk reaction by those on the right typically, but some on the left, is that we need more, that we wouldn’t have lost those 4 lives had we had 10,000 troops in a country in which none of us knew we were going to be at war. None of us fully debated who the parties are to the war.
Yet we are going to be at war there now. So the knee-jerk reaction is that we
are to expand our role in this war in Africa.
I had my staff ask a question: How many troops do we have in Africa?
Nobody here knows.
We looked it up, and we found out it is 6,000.
We have 6,000 troops in Africa. We knew we were at war in Iraq, Syria,
Afghanistan, and Libya, but we didn’t really know we had 6,000 troops
in Africa. That would include Libya.
Six thousand troops are in Africa.
The point is, when you get back to the debate we are talking about–
the budget–there are a great deal of expenditures to have troops in a
So we literally have troops in over 100 countries. We currently have 6,000 troops in Africa. It is expensive. How do you convince the other side of the aisle to pay for it?
Typically, the Republican side of the aisle says: “Katy, bar the
door.” We will spend whatever it takes, and then some, on the
The Democrats say: Well, what about welfare? We need more welfare.
Then they tell you that to compromise is noble, to be enlightened, to
be pragmatic, that to compromise is what we should shoot for, that we
should work with the other side.
So that is what happens.
There has been a bipartisan consensus for maybe 50, 60, 70 years now,
and that is to fund everything.
If the right wants warfare, the left says we must get more welfare.
If the left wants welfare, the right says we have to have more money for warfare.
So it is guns and butter.
It began in an aggressive way during the Vietnam war, but it has
proceeded apace. We continue to spend money as if there is no tomorrow,
but both parties are guilty.
It is the right and the left.
It is compromise that is killing this country. It is the compromise to spend
money on everything, for everyone, whether you are from the right or
But there could be another form of compromise.
We could say that we wish to compromise in the reverse direction.
We wish to say that, look, maybe for the Republicans, national defense is more important than welfare, and maybe for the Democrats, welfare is more important than warfare, but maybe the compromise could be, you know what, we don’t
have enough money for either one. Maybe the compromise could be that we
will spend a little bit less on each.
You know what. We did that recently. When I first came up here, I was
elected in this tea party tidal wave that was concerned about debt.
Something called a sequester was passed. Guess who hated it.
All the Big-spending Republicans and all the big-spending Democrats.
They couldn’t pass out their goodies and favors enough because there was
You say: Well, I heard the sequester was terrible. I saw people at
school and I saw people in my town saying that the sequester wasn’t
giving them enough money.
The sequester was actually a slowdown in the rate of growth of
This is why you have to understand newspeak.
We talk about newspeak and how people change the meaning of words to make them meaningless or even to make them mean the opposite.
You hear all the time–when we were having the debate on repealing ObamaCare, we were talking about capping the rate of growth of Medicaid.
You heard all the squawking on the left saying we were going to cut Medicaid.
No. We were going to cut the rate of growth of Medicaid.
So we had a sequester, and it was evenly divided between military and
nonmilitary, between Republican interests and Democratic interests.
It did not cut; it slowed down the rate of growth of spending over 10
years. It was actually working to a certain degree. We got it because
people who were concerned about the debt fought and fought and said: We
need to be concerned about the debt.
We are hollowing out the country from the inside out.
Who destroyed the sequester?
Really, the voices were louder on the Republican side than the Democratic side, but both parties were complicit. The sequester has essentially been gutted and destroyed, and the spending caps have become somewhat meaningless.
We have before us today $36 billion.
It will exceed the spending caps. We have a sequester in place, but there are all these exemptions, so it is exempt.
Anytime you say it is an emergency, it is an exemption. Within the $36 billion, though, there is $16 billion because we run a terrible government-run flood program that is $16 billion in the hole.
So we are going to bail it out by letting it wipe out all of its debt. That sounds like long-term mismanagement in a badly run program rather than an emergency.
Yet it is going to be stuck in an emergency bill so it can exceed the caps.
What am I asking for today?
I am asking that we obey our own rules. We set these rules. We set these spending caps. We set the sequester.
Let’s obey them.
The other side will say:
Oh, we are obeying the rules; we are just not counting this money. That is the problem.
We have this dishonest accounting where people say: Oh yeah, we are obeying the rules.
But we are not.
There are a couple of ways you could pay for this.
The first way, I tried a couple of weeks ago. We had a $15 billion bill, and I said:
Why don’t we pay for it with the foreign aid, the welfare we give to other
Why don’t we say:
You know what, it is time we looked at America first.
It is time that we took care of our own.
It is time that we spend money taking care of those in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, but let’s spend money that we were going to send in the form of welfare
to other countries.
Maybe we should take care of our own.
Instead, though, the Senate voted otherwise. I forced the issue.
They weren’t too happy with the amendment. I only got the vote because I was
persistent and I threatened to delay things, and I was able to get a
Do you know how many Senators voted for this?
No Democrats. No Democrats wanted to offset any spending, and 10 Republicans did.
I think the vote was 87 to 10.
Eighty-seven Senators voted to keep spending money without any offsets, to basically just borrow the money.
Now we are having the same debate again. I have an amendment to
offset the $36 billion.
In all likelihood, I am not going to get an amendment vote because they don’t have time. It would take 15 minutes, and God forbid we spend 15 minutes talking about how we are being eaten alive by a $20 trillion debt.
God forbid we talk about how a $20 trillion debt is an anchor around the neck of the country.
God forbid. God forbid we offer an amendment and at least take 15 minutes to have an offset, to say we should pay for this money we are going to send to
Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida, pay for it by taking it from some other element in the budget.
Last time, I offered foreign welfare.
This time, what I put on the table is something that is very similar to a bill that has been put forward and offered for several years called the Penny Plan.
The Penny Plan is this.
There is a great illustration of this–if you want to
look at this on YouTube–of a guy with a bunch of pennies stacked and
showing sort of in a visual way what it would be like to cut one penny
out of every dollar.
That is what we are talking about. A 1-percent cut
across the board would pay for this $36 billion bill. It is actually a
little bit less than 1 percent.
One percent of a $4 trillion budget would be $40 billion. We need $36 billion, so it is less than 1 percent.
Just cut the budget less than 1 percent.
Do you think there might be 1 percent waste in every department,
including even departments of government you might like?
Do you think any American families ever had to deal with a 1-percent cut?
Government is so wasteful at every level that we could probably cut several
percentage points of every division and department of government, and
you wouldn’t know it was gone.
I mean, the waste is astounding.
When we looked at where money is spent, we looked at some of the money that was being shipped overseas not too long ago, and one of the programs that
we found was a televised cricket league for Afghanistan.
All right, self-esteem is really important, and you are going to pay for it.
So we are going to pay for television so that the Afghans can feel better
about themselves by watching cricket on TV.
The first problem is that we don’t have the money. We have to borrow
The second problem is that they don’t have televisions in
Well, some do, but the 1 in 1,000 people who have a
television, I guess, are going to feel better about the Americans
paying so that they can watch cricket on TV.
It is one thing after another. We paid $1 million for a variety program to put little songs and skits on their televisions. Once again, most of them do not have a
TV to watch.
In the war effort in Afghanistan, we spent trillions and trillions of
dollars on the war effort. We have defeated the Taliban many times, and
I am sure that we could defeat them again, but that just means that
they will go across the border, hide in caves, and go back when we are
We spent $45 million on a gas station in Afghanistan.
This is an interesting gas station. It serves up natural gas. You might say that
is great because we are lessening the carbon footprint in Afghanistan,
except that it is completely absurd. They do not have any cars that run
on natural gas in Afghanistan.
So they built a $45 million plant. The original estimate was that it
was going to cost about $500,000. It was like 46 times the cost of
overruns, and it ended up costing $45 million. It serves up natural
gas, but nobody has a car that runs on natural gas.
We said whoops, and we immediately bought them 24 cars that run on
natural gas so they could go to the $45 million gas station to get
their natural gas. But that was not enough. We had natural gas cars for
them, but they had no money with which to buy the natural gas.
So we bought them all credit cards. We bought them natural-gas-burning cars,
we gave them a natural-gas gas station, and we bought them credit cards
to reduce the carbon footprint of those who are living in Afghanistan.
This is absurd.
When we look at the budget and when we look at accounting, a lot of
the money that has been spent overseas in the Iraq war, the Afghanistan
war, the Syria war, the Niger war, the Libya war, the Somalia war, and
the Chad war is not really budgeted.
A lot of this money is actually done as an off-budget thing. It is called the overseas contingency operations.
It is really a way of cheating, a way of being dishonest in
It is a way of evading spending caps, but it has also gone a long way toward making it easier to keep spending money without restraint.
We tried to put restraints on military and nonmilitary, and they were exceeded by this slush fund. They call it OCO funding, or overseas contingency operations.
When we had the budget vote recently, I put forward an amendment and simply said that we should not spend above our caps. If we put these caps in place, this is what we should spend. I think that we got maybe 15 or 20 votes on that, but this is
Ultimately, we have to decide as a country this:
Are we going to obey the Constitution? Are we going to go to war only when we declare war, when Congress does its job and declares war, or are we going to go to
war anytime, anywhere?
That is sort of what we do now.
We go to war anytime, anywhere on the face of the planet, and it is not for free.
Not only is it expensive in dollars, but it is expensive in the lives
of the young men and women who are sent to these wars. Yet no one has
ever voted on them.
We lost a soldier in Yemen 3 or 4 months ago. For
his family, it was devastating, but America pays little attention
because America is, basically, not fighting the war.
A very small percentage of America–brave young men and women who are often from rural parts of our country–is fighting our wars, but the mass of
America is not fighting. You could say that they are volunteers–that
is great, and I think that is the best kind of army to have–but I hate
it that we do not show the responsibility and care of actually doing
our job and of taking the time to debate it.
Should we be at war in Yemen or not?
Should we be at war in Niger?
Should we be at war in Libya?
Should we be at war in Chad?
Should we be at war in Somalia,
We have troops in probably 20 or 30 nations in which there is conflict going
on, and we are actively involved in the midst of conflict in at least 6
or 7. It is very expensive in human lives and dollars.
We need to ask ourselves this:
Will we do this forever?
The Sunnis have been fighting the Shia for about 1,000 years.
People say: Well, we are going after ISIS in Africa.
ISIS is basically a name for radical jihadist Islam, and it is all
over the planet.
Are we going to go everywhere and kill every one of
Is there a possibility that, when we kill 1 that 10 more will pop
Is the Whac-A-Mole strategy for killing every terrorist on the
planet or every radical on the planet the way that we are going to win?
We went into Yemen on a manned raid in January or February of this
year, and we lost one brave Navy SEAL. They say that we got
information, but they will not exactly tell me what information they
They claim that it was this great information that is going to make the war on
terror so much easier. I have my doubts.
In the raid, though, which was a manned raid in the middle of Yemen, women and children died. I do not blame our soldiers. I have members of my family who are Active Duty. They do what they are told. They take orders. It is tough being put in a situation like that. You are dropped in the middle of nowhere in a
village. Maybe the women and children are shooting at you as well.
You have to defend yourself and complete your mission.
Yet I wonder whether or not the policymakers should be more involved
with making the decision as to whether we should be in Yemen and
whether or not the people who live in the surrounding area to that
village will, for 100 years or more, recite through oral tradition the
day that the Americans came, and whether or not we will have actually
killed more terrorists than will have been created by the oral
tradition of when the Americans came.
We are also aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia in this horrific war in
Yemen. There are 17 million people who live on the edge of starvation
in Yemen, and the war is exacerbating that. Yemen is a very poor country to begin with. They import about 80 percent of their food.
Currently, the Saudis have a blockade. So no food is getting in. They
say that it is to prevent arms, and I am sure it is, but one of the
consequences is no food. There are a half million people with cholera
right now. It is sort of a bad form of dysentery, and in poor
countries, you die from cholera.
There are a half million people with cholera. It goes along with no food and no clean water.
The Saudis are blockading Yemen, and the Saudis are bombing Yemen. We
are selling the Saudis the weapons. We are refueling the planes and
helping the Saudis pick the targets. One of the Saudi targets about 1
year ago was a funeral procession. This was a funeral procession of a
Houthi leader or rebel. There were 500 people–civilians–who were
wounded in that procession, and there were 150 who were killed by a
Saudi bomb on civilians.
Do you think they are going to soon forget that? Do you think that by
killing 150 people in a funeral procession and wounding 500, you killed
more terrorists that day than you created?
I would say that that day will live on in oral history for 1,000
years. The day the Saudis came with American bombs and bombed an
unarmed funeral procession will live on for 1,000 years, and hundreds–
if not thousands–of people will be motivated to become suicide bombers
because of the day that the Saudis bombed a funeral procession.
It is incredibly expensive in lives–their lives, our lives. When you
look at the cause of famine around the globe and when you look at it
extensively and study the causes of famine, it is war probably 6 or 7
times out of 10. War is a terrible thing, and we must acknowledge that
and try to think of ways that we can make war the last resort instead
of the first resort.
I mean, for goodness sake, the people on television this Sunday did
not know how many troops were in Niger. Yet their immediate response was that we should have had more–that we need more troops over there
in Africa–in a place that most Americans have not heard of and have no
idea who is fighting whom or whether or not it is an achievable goal.
They say that 1,000 was not enough, that if we had had 10,000 in air
support and all of this, we would have prevented these deaths. That is
one lesson you could learn.
The other lesson you could learn is that maybe we should not have been there at all.
You see, people have to stand up for themselves. There is this idea
of sort of self-rule and independence, but if people are coddled and
not sort of forced into the position of defending themselves, they will
We have been in Afghanistan for 16 years. In the 16 years we have
been there, what have we found? We have found that about 60,000 to
80,000 Afghans have come over here. We have to help these translators.
Well, they speak English, and they are pro-West. So they need to stay
in Afghanistan and create a country. The best people left.
It is the same in Iraq. We won the war in Iraq, and all of the good
people came over here. I have nothing personally against those who came
other than that I am disappointed that there were not enough people who
were heroic enough to stay in their country to help build a new
Who fights over there?
Some of the Afghans fight. Some people join their army to shoot us. We have this green on green, where their soldiers are shooting our soldiers because they come in and intentionally are there to kill our soldiers.
Yet the question is,
How come, after 15, 16 years, the Afghans cannot fight to preserve their
Now everybody says: Oh, if America comes home, the Taliban will take
The Taliban is not quite ISIS. It is also not quite the same
international sort of jihadist. They did harbor bin Laden once upon a
time. Most of those people are dead if not all of them.
If you look at how terrorism ended when the IRA ended in England and
in Ireland, it ended up being a negotiation. So many say that they will
never negotiate with the enemy.
If you never negotiate with the Taliban–they are, unfortunately, pretty popular in Afghanistan, and they are going to be there forever–can we kill them all? No. It is
just like the radicals throughout these Islamic countries. I think
there are too many to kill.
The question is, Do you create more than you kill?
If you put this in context and say that we have to be able to defend
ourselves and that our country needs to be strong to defend itself, I
could not agree more, but do you know what?
We become weaker every day as we run up this debt. We are $20 trillion in debt–$700 billion this year.
We borrow $1 million a minute.
Realize that predicament, and then realize that the powers that be do not want to allow amendments to offset spending.
I am proposing, if we spend money on Puerto Rico and Texas and
Florida, that we offset it by taking it from something that is less of
a priority, from something else in the budget.
If we were to cut 1 percent of the rest of the budget, we would have more than enough to pay for this.Would anybody notice 1 percent? Sure. One would have to
push things around a little bit, but they would all survive.
We have looked at spending, and to show you how bad spending in the
Federal Government is, it gets faster each month as you get toward the
end of the year. When there is only 1 month left, these bureaucrats
Oh, my goodness, we might not be able to spend the money fast
enough. So spending in the last month of the year is, actually, five
times faster than in any other month of the year. In fact, in the last
month of the fiscal year, not only is it five times faster, but each
progressive day it gets faster.
The last month of the fiscal year is September.
On September 1, they spend the money like this. On September
2, it is like this. On September 3, it like this. On September 4, it is
like this. It goes up every day because they are trying to shovel the
money out as fast as they can. If they do not spend it all, they are
afraid they will not get it next year.
The common parlance is `use it or lose it.”
When you get all the way to the last day of the fiscal year, spending
actually increases and goes with the rising and setting Sun.
So it is 8 o’clock, earlier here than it is in California. As the Sun rises, we
begin spending money in the East. We are shoveling it out as fast as we
can. As the Sun progresses towards sunset, the spending shifts to the
west coast. They are shoveling it out at 5 o’clock Pacific time in
their trying to get rid of the money.
If you look at when most conferences are, when most government
employees go to a conference in Las Vegas, it is in the last months of
the year. They found that they have some money.
What is a million bucks?
You don’t mind spending a million bucks, right? You want these
government employees to have a good time. So there was a group–I think
it was the General Services Administration–a couple of years ago, and
you saw those pictures of the head of the GSA and his wife in a big Las
Vegas hot tub, drinking champagne. I think that was a million-dollar
event–it was either at that conference or at another one–in which
they decided that it would be good and instructive for their employees
if they actually had a Star Trek reenactment.
So they hired Star Trek sreen actors.
(END OF SENATOR PAUL’S REMARKS.)
With that, I reserve the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator Flake from Arizona.
To that end, I am announcing today that my service in the Senate will
conclude at the end of my term in early January 2019.
(Did not use all of Flakes remarks. So much time is wasted in these sessions – if they would just stick to the business at hand.)
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that
notwithstanding rule XXII, all postcloture time now be considered
expired, all pending motions and amendments be withdrawn, except for
the motion to concur, and that Senator Paul be recognized to speak for
up to 5 minutes and then make a budget point of order; that myself or
my designee be recognized to make a motion to waive; that following
disposition of the motion to waive, the Senate vote on the motion to
concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 2266; and
that if the motion is agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered
made and laid upon the table.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Under the previous order, all postcloture time has expired.
Under the previous order, the motion to concur with amendment is
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, there have been many who have said,
including Admiral Mullen, among others, that the greatest threat to our
national security is our debt. We have a $20 trillion debt. This year,
the debt for 1 year will be about $700 billion. We borrow $1 million a
minute. What we have before us is a bill that will exceed our spending
We will be told that this is an emergency and we must do it. Yet I
think the true compassion comes from helping those but also making sure
we don’t add to our debt. I think the truly compassionate person helps
their neighbor by giving part of their surplus to their neighbor but
not going to the bank and borrowing money to give it to their neighbor.
We are $700 billion short in the budget, and we are simply going to
print more money and send it to Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida. What I
ask is, if you are going to help people, why don’t we set our
priorities? Why don’t we take money from other areas of the budget
where it is not needed?
What I propose is that we cut 1 percent or a little bit less than
that across the board. I think there is not a department of government
that couldn’t deal with 1 percent less, and we would take that money
and we could spend it on the emergencies in Puerto Rico and Texas.
I think if we think somehow that it is compassionate to go ahead and
just borrow more money and continue doing this, I think we are fooling
ourselves. I think our country becomes weaker each day we add to the
debt, and I think it is time we become honest with ourselves.
If you look at whose fault this is, there is enough blame to go
around, frankly. The debt doubled under George W. Bush from $5 trillion
to $10 trillion. The debt then doubled again from $10 trillion to $20
trillion under President Obama.
We are on course to add, some estimate, another $10 to $15 trillion
over the next 8 years. This is a real problem for our country. So I
think, as we look toward helping those who suffer from the hurricanes,
we should look toward taking it away from less pressing priorities.
There is also $16 billion in here for the flood program that
continues to pay people to build in flood zones. We do it year after
year after year. We continue to rebuild in flood zones, and then the
taxpayers are left on the hook. So we are wiping out $16 billion in
debt for the flood program, and we are also then spending money we
At this point, what I would like to do is raise a point of order that
has to do with us exceeding the spending caps. I think, if we are going
to be honest with ourselves–we are in the midst of talking about a
large tax cut, which I favor, but how can we be the party or the people
who cut taxes at the same time we continue to borrow more? So what I am
asking, through this budget point of order, is that we actually adhere
to our rule to not exceed our spending caps and try to slow down the
accumulation of debt.
With that, I raise the section 314(e) point of order, pursuant to the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, against sections 304, 306, 308, and
309 of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief
Requirements Act of 2017.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Portman). The Senator from Kansas.
Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections
of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purpose of H.R. 2266,
and I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There appears to be a sufficient second.
The question is on agreeing to the motion.
The clerk will call the roll.
The bill clerk called the roll.
Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr.
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
The yeas and nays resulted–yeas 80, nays 19, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 247 Leg.]
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Strange). On this vote, the yeas are 80,
the nays are 19.
Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
The point of order falls.
Motion to Concur
The question is on agreeing to the motion to concur.
Mr. ALEXANDER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). Is there a sufficient second?
There appears to be a sufficient second.
The clerk will call the roll.
The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr.
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). Are there any other Senators in
the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced–yeas 82, nays 17, as follows:
[Rollcall Vote No. 248 Leg.]
The motion was agreed to.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table with respect to
the prior vote.
The Senator from Idaho.