When anti-abortion fanatics try to sabotage other bills in order to get their way, it’s time to kick them out of office. Senator Rand Paul is one of those fanatics. The Tea Party favorite is willing to kill important legislation by adding a provision that defines personhood as beginning at conception, even though the legislation has absolutely nothing to do with abortion.
Florida and Minnesota are currently being devastated by flooding. Flooding, as we all know, damages homes and businesses, and is very costly because many insurance policies do not cover this particular natural disaster. But the National Flood Insurance Program does. The program provides crucial aid to homeowners to help them rebuild their homes and lives. For years, Republican and Democratic Senators have been trying to work out a way to extend this program for the long-term, especially as hurricane season approaches, and they finally compromised on S.1940 which re-authorizes the government insurance program for the next five years, strengthens mitigation programs, reduces flood risk, increases community resilience to flooding, and creates pricing, eligibility and financial reform mandates to make the program fiscally solvent.
You would think that every Republican in the Senate would sign onto this immediately, right? After all, it’s a compromise that relieves homeowners while at the same time fixes the program to reduce debt. Even the Republican dominated House has passed it.
But Senator Paul doesn’t care about that. He’d rather wage war against women’s reproductive health instead. And that’s exactly what Rand Paul did on Tuesday when he threatened to singlehandedly block the legislation by adding an anti-abortion measure that is completely unrelated to the bill. Paul’s measure is a personhood amendment that would essentially ban abortion and many forms of contraception. Years of work on the National Flood Insurance Program re-authorization is being threatened by a lone Senator who apparently enjoys sabotaging pieces of legislation that are designed to help people. Rand Paul is a major problem child in the Senate. Many bills have been stalled or blocked because he decided that the Senate needed to work even worse than it already does. Keep in mind that this flood bill is legislation that both Republicans and Democrats agree on, which is incredibly rare in the Senate these days. So why is Rand Paul acting like a prick? It’s not like he has to vote for the bill. He can vote ‘nay’ or simply abstain. Is making progress such an abomination to him that he feels obligated to gum up the works when both parties finally find something to agree on? Or is he just so gung-ho about ending women’s reproductive rights that he’s determined to sabotage any and every bill until he gets his way?
Because either way, Rand Paul is being completely out of line and is exactly the kind of elected official America doesn’t need in Congress. When an elected official blocks legislation just for the sake of blocking it or for some frivolous unrelated reason, it’s time for Americans to fire that official and hire one that will do their job seriously and responsibly. The US Senate is already horrible at moving critical pieces of legislation. Anyone who intentionally threatens to block legislation that both parties have endorsed is only there to make government not work and that is bad for the country.