Rand Paul

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Hemp farmers and processors in Murray presented progress and problems in growing the crop to U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Thursday. Paul is in the region as part of a tour discussing healthcare options and made a stop in Murray to talk hemp ahead of visits to other communities. Afterwords, he also commented on North Korea and health care reform options.

Joseph Kelly operates West Kentucky Hemp LLC. and works with Kentucky 21st Century Agri. He led much of the presentation, briefing Paul on some of their processes and procedures, ambitions and challenges. Kelly and others involved in hemp described its various uses: leaves (producing CBD), floor material (buds) for extracting oil, seeds (as grain and pressed for oil) and other uses involving the fiber.

WFPL

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says he’s working with President Trump to offer relief to millions of Americans needing affordable health insurance coverage.  

In an interview with WKU Public Radio Tuesday, Paul said the president is considering executive action on health care reform. 

With discussions on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act now stalled, Paul says he’s trying to push his idea of association health plans, which would allow Americans to join large groups across state lines for less expensive health insurance.

J. Tyler Franklin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has unveiled the newest version of a bill to replace many provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Negotiations over the much-anticipated bill were held in private, with even some Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul criticizing the secretive process “with little time to fully evaluate the proposal.”

Paul issued a statement Thursday saying he wasn’t ready to vote in favor of the new bill because it doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is slamming efforts led by Senate Majority Leader and fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Paul said he won’t know how he will vote until the bill is released to legislators on Thursday, but he anticipates that McConnell won’t have the votes and will have to renegotiate the legislation with members of his own party.

U.S Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was at the Virginia ball field Wednesday morning when a shooter opened fire on a group of lawmakers. 

Speaking to ABC News, Paul said he was in a batting cage in right field when the first shots rang out.  Paul says he saw Congressman Steve Scalise go down, and that’s when he took cover behind a tree. 

Senator Paul estimated at least 50 shots were fired in quick succession.  When the gunfire began hitting the dirt around him, he says he decide to make a run for it, and climbed over some fences to get out of the area.

Becca Schimmel

Sen. Rand Paul has once again filed a bill that would allow judges to have more discretion when imposing sentences on those convicted of federal crimes, though he says the bill will have an “uphill battle” gaining support in the White House.

“I think the key really is not the administration so much — although eventually they would weigh in on it,” Paul said during a conference call on Wednesday. “I think the key is in the Senate. This is one of the few things I think we really have good, broad bipartisan support for.”

The legislation would allow judges to impose sentences that are less severe than mandatory minimum sentences currently required by law.

Paul argues that the policy would help reduce the federal prison population and restore “proportionality, fairness, and rationality to federal sentencing.

WFPL

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for directing federal prosecutors to charge defendants with the most serious crimes they can pursue.

The new guidelines are a departure from an Obama-era policy that eased prosecutions of people with non-violent drug offenses.

In 2013, then-Attorney General Eric Holder directed prosecutors to avoid charging people with crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences, which require judges to impose lengthier prison terms.

In a statement, Paul said the reprisal of the “tough on crime” policy isn’t a good idea.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul thinks China is the key to keeping the erratic North Korean regime in check.

The Bowling Green Republican said Beijing can put even more political and economic pressure on North Korea, after that country recently suffered an embarrassing failed missile launch.

“I do agree with the Trump administration that talking to China, and trying to get China involved, is an important part” of getting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “to behave,” Paul said.

Speaking to reporters at his Bowling Green office Monday, Paul said China has tremendous leverage with Pyongyang given North Korea’s economic woes.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul is not happy with the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The plan comes from House Speaker Paul Ryan and has the support of President Donald Trump.

Although Paul was in Louisville Monday, he is skipping President Trump’s rally in Louisville Monday night, saying he was headed back to Washington to drum up votes against the repeal plan, which is headed for a vote Thursday.

“My hope is that it fails Thursday and that’s when the true negotiation begins,” Paul said at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce Monday morning.

The GOP repeal and replace bill would do away with the ACA’s requirement that individuals have health insurance and large employers provide it.

For Kentucky Voters, A Familiar Fight: Trump vs. Paul

Mar 10, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Duard Rutledge voted for Donald Trump and Rand Paul for the same reason: They’re not afraid of a fight.

That’s why the 66-year-old retired Toyota worker wasn’t worried to see Kentucky’s junior senator getting in the way of the Republican plan to replace Obama’s health care law.

“When you get two thoroughbreds, they are high strung,” he said. “But if you get them headed the right way they can both win the race.”

Paul has been one of the most vocal Senate critics of the GOP plan to replace the federal Affordable Care Act, even before he knew what was in it. Last week, he hauled a copy machine outside of the room where House Republicans were writing the bill and asked for a copy, highlighting the secrecy surrounding the proposal. Since then, he has declared the plan dead, calling it “Obamacare lite.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday that would do away with the law’s major reforms, including the requirement to have health insurance or pay a penalty and the ban on insurers refusing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

Under the proposal, people wouldn’t be required to get health insurance, nor would employers be required to offer it. Instead, groups of people and small employers could come together to form “independent health pools” to negotiate rates.

Rand Paul Might Stop An Obamacare Repeal. Here’s How

Jan 6, 2017
MSNBC

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that he would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known to many as Obamacare, without voting for a replacement plan on the same day. He made the comments on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Here’s the great irony, this week we’re going to vote on a budget,” he said. “Everybody is hot and heavy to vote on this budget because they want to repeal Obamacare. But the budget they’re going to introduce will add $8.8 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. So I told them look, I’m not going to vote for a budget that never balances.”

J. Tyler Franklin

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has become an outspoken assessor of President-elect Donald Trump’s potential nominees for secretary of state, going out of his way to criticize several candidates for their hawkish foreign policy views.

Paul, a non-interventionist who has clashed with his party on foreign policy issues during his first term in office, is in a rare position to influence who Trump taps to be the next secretary of state.

A nominee would have to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, with 10 Republicans and 9 Democrats on the panel, Paul represents a key swing vote.

So far, Paul has publicly stated that he would not support the nomination of former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, citing his support of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He’s also cast doubts on the prospects of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, questioning the candidates’ views on foreign intervention.

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican Sen. Rand Paul has won reelection to his seat, defeating Democratic challenger Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington.

Paul won all but seven of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

In his victory speech, Paul quoted the rock group Pink Floyd and said government needs to get out of the way of individuals’ creativity.

“The goal should be to set you free,” he said. “To leave you alone. To have a government so small you can barely see it.”

Paul is at the end of his first term in the Senate. He was part of a crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president but suspended his campaign at the beginning of this year.

Paul (photo provided) Gray (Jim Gray for US Senate)

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray accused U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of having “wild-ass” ideas in their first and only face-to-face debate of the election year. The at times freewheeling event underscored the candidates’ differences on foreign policy and economic values.

Paul repeatedly tried to tie Gray to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, who are both unpopular in Kentucky.

“The mayor’s endorsed both of these candidates, so it makes it very difficult for him in Western Kentucky or Eastern Kentucky to convince people that he’s for them when he’s for these regulations that have been killing their jobs,” Paul said.

The hour-long debate, which was televised live on KET, took place about a week before Kentuckians go to the polls on Nov. 8.

Gray is in his second term as mayor of Lexington. Paul is at the end of his first term in the Senate. He also sought the Republican nomination for president but dropped out of the race earlier this year.

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