by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Alexander Bolton of The Hill explains how Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul irks his colleagues.
Paul doesn’t care if he’s making his colleagues uncomfortable.
He says he wouldn’t have delayed the budget deal if GOP leaders had merely allowed him a vote on restoring the spending caps that the deal was setting aside.
Leaders said if they allowed Paul a vote other senators would then demand votes on their own amendments, delaying the bill even longer.
Still, many Republicans didn’t want to vote against reimposing spending caps that they had declared a major victory only a few short years ago, when they fought with the Obama administration over spending cuts.
“You could feel the frustration and embarrassment growing in Congress as we exposed the hypocrisy of Republicans who are joining in an unholy alliance and spending free-for-all with Democrats,” Paul tweeted Thursday night.
Members of the Senate are accustomed to the opposing party forcing them to take tough votes, rather than a member of their own conference. …
… Paul gets energy from riling up his colleagues on points of principle and refused to back down, even though it was clear that the budget deal had the votes to pass.
“They’re mad that they have to do their jobs,” said Brian Darling, a GOP strategist and former Paul aide.
Darling said his former boss doesn’t care about upsetting his fellow senators.
“He cares more about doing the right thing, not going along to get along. Members were really angry with him but he has the right to do what he did.”