by Locker Room contributor
Rand Paul’s continuing resolution amendment, which would have balanced the budget in five years, went down in flames Friday evening, with only 18 Republican senators supporting it. While the amendment was good enough to garner the votes of a disparate group of GOPers, from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, it didn’t seem to be N.C. Sen. Richard Burr’s cup of tea. He was not among the 17 who stood with Sen. Paul.
Go here to see which 17 supported the amendment.
There were many features of Paul’s budget that would have been attractive to conservatives:
Senator Paul’s budget plan contains many provisions that make it stand out as easily the best budget plan being offered in Congress this year. First, it balances the budget in five years, and unlike other budget plans it does not use President Obama’s past or future tax hikes to achieve balance. The plan returns annually appropriated (discretionary) spending to 2008 levels, and eliminates four cabinet departments (Energy, Education, Commerce, and Housing & Urban Development), agencies whose benefits are debatable and whose responsibilities in any case are, as a constitutional matter, more properly handled by state and local governments or the private sector.
More importantly, the Rand Paul budget structurally reforms the federal government’s biggest spending items – entitlements. It block-grants Medicaid, food stamps, and children’s health insurance to the states, allowing states to choose how best to use that funding for their own citizens. The budget allows seniors to opt out of Medicare and to opt into the same, highly popular, health care plan enjoyed by Members of Congress.