The good news is that our own Senator Patty Murray proposed a paid family leave amendment. David Weigel at Bloomberg says:
Titled the Deficit-Neutral Reserve Fund for Legislation to Allow Americans to Earn Paid Sick Time, Murray’s amendment would devote funds “relating to efforts to improve workplace benefits and reduce health care costs, which may include measures to allow Americans to earn paid sick time to address their own health needs and the health needs of their families, and to promote equal employment opportunities.”
Sounds totally reasonable, doesn’t it? And in fact, the amendment enjoyed a solid base of support, from every Democrat and a kinda-astonishing 16 Republicans. The only people to vote against it were hardline Republicans from red states and every Republican in the Senate who’s considering a run for president: Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul.
I guess the vote from Senator Paul kind of makes sense, because he’s known for his hardline libertarian values: cut government spending, promote small government, that sort of thing. Except according to Alexander Bolton at The Hill, Paul proposed an amendment that would add $76 billion to the already-staggering proposed military budget of $620 billion. In fact, Bolton says, “Paul wants to increase defense spending over the next two years by $190 billion.”
Rand Paul: World’s Worst Libertarian™? Or just a craven politician desperate for those blood-thirsty Republican primary votes? Are any of Ron Paul’s ReLOVEutionaries still fooled by Rand Paul? Do they think he’s playing at being a hawk?
I guess Paul believes he can claim he’s still for small government because his amendment guts a bunch of small government programs to pay for the biggest government program of them all. As Bolton writes, “Paul would offset the cost of the funding increase by cutting foreign aid, science and technology funding, natural resources and environment funding and education, training, employment and social services funding.”
Science and technology are frequent Republican targets, but that foreign aid cut is the most baffling of them all. Paul believes that cutting aid to our allies and increasing money for defense demonstrates a meaningful understanding of foreign policy. The sad thing is, he’s probably won some new fans and allies with his irresponsible voting today.