Rand Paul

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is teaming up with a Democratic colleague to defend states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Paul and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are sponsoring an amendment to a spending bill being debated by Congress that would prohibit the federal government from spending money to combat medical marijuana in states that allow it. The U.S. House recently passed a measure similar to what Paul and Booker are proposing.

The amendment wouldn’t legalize medical marijuana nationally, but would instead prevent the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal prosecutors from investigating and bringing charges against individuals who are complying with state law.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that legalize or regulate the use of medicinal marijuana. While Kentucky isn’t on that list, state lawmakers recently passed a bill that would allow research to be conducted on the possible prescription of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions. The oil is extracted from hemp and marijuana plants.

Emil Moffatt

Former Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning says there’s a good chance the man who took his place in the Senate will run for president in two years.  Bunning says Rand Paul has done a “good job so far” in the Senate, but still has some time to gauge who his primary opponents might be.

“Right now, my answer is ‘yes’,” said Bunning when asked about Paul’s prospects of a White House run in 2016.  “My gut feeling is, he will feel out the primary field and see. If he thinks he can win the primary, then I think he will continue.”

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he would back the U.S. providing arms assistance and possibly using air strikes to help the Iraqi government halt the advance of militants in that country. Paul said it would be a mistake to return American ground troops to Iraq. 

Paul also called it “appalling” that some Iraqi soldiers were stripping off their uniforms and running. Paul is Iowa to speak to that state’s Republican Convention.

Paul: Immigration Reform Did Not Sink Cantor

Jun 11, 2014
WKU PBS

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said immigration reform was not to blame for the surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday night.

Cantor lost to Dave Bratt, a little-known economic professor whose campaign focused largely on immigration. His defeat had some wondering if it would be difficult for the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives to pass immigration reform.

But Paul said a number of issues contributed to Cantor's defeat, including his past votes to raise the debt ceiling and the controversy surrounding the National Security Administration's domestic spying program. He said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's victory in South Carolina proved immigration was not the paramount issue.

But Paul - a potential 2016 Republican candidate for president - acknowledged immigration reform remains a tricky area for Republicans.

Paul Still Weighing Dual Run For White House and Senate

Jun 6, 2014
WKU PBS

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says a state law preventing candidates from having their names appear more than once on the ballot won't deter him from staging dual campaigns for Senate re-election and president if he decides to make a bid for the White House in 2016.

Paul told the Associated Press he's still discussing with his family whether to enter the presidential race. But he insisted the Kentucky ballot law won't be an obstacle. The Republican with considerable Tea Party support kept open the option of mounting a court challenge seeking to have his name on the Kentucky ballot for both races.

Legislation aimed at letting Paul run for both offices passed the GOP-led state Senate this year in Frankfort, but died in the Democratic-run House.

Paul Urges Kentucky GOP To Rally Around McConnell

May 23, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul is calling for Republicans across Kentucky to support Sen. Mitch McConnell in his campaign against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
 
The first-term senator, considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate, said Friday that a vote for Grimes would be a vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his policy of advancing President Barack Obama's agenda.
 
McConnell says he has not spoken to Matt Bevin since defeating him in Tuesday's Republican primary. But he says he was not worried about losing Republican votes in the general election.

Grimes released an open letter to Bevin's supporters on Friday saying McConnell will lie about her in campaign ads just as he lied about Bevin. She urged them to get to know her and her true positions.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he plans to filibuster one of President Obama’s judicial nominations.

Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul says he wants to block the President’s nomination of David Barron for the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because of Barron’s legal memos related to drones. During his time as a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Barron reportedly authored at least two classified opinions giving the go-ahead to use drones to kill the U.S.-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen.

Paul has been a strong critic of the Obama Administration’s policy of using drone strikes against Americans overseas, and gained national attention in 2013 for a 13-hour filibuster he conducted against the nomination of John Brennan as CIA chief.

Paul was demanding the White House state it would not use drones to kill a non-combatant American citizen on U.S. soil.

The Kentucky Senator now wants the White House to release at least one of the drone memos authored by Barron.

Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators have helped defeat an effort to raise the federal minimum wage.

Republicans Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul joined almost every other GOP Senator Wednesday in voting against a bill that would have boosted the minimum pay level for federal workers to $10.10 an hour by 2016, up from the current rate of $7.25.

Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats voted against the bill, with Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly supporting it.

Overall, the bill received 54 votes in favor and 42 votes against, short of the 60-vote threshold needed to continue.

Tennessee’s Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote in favor of the measure.

The federal minimum wage bill has become a hot campaign topic ahead of the next round of Congressional elections. Democrats have portrayed GOP opposition to a minimum wage increase as proof of Republican disinterest in the working class poor.

Republicans point to a Congressional Budget Office report that found such an increase could cost the economy 500,000 jobs.

Senator Rand Paul says raising the minimum wage would negatively impact job prospects for minorities and children.

The Courier-Journal reports that while speaking Monday night to a group of business owners and officials in Louisville, Sen. Paul said Congress could help the poor and unemployed by cutting corporate and personal income taxes in struggling areas.

The Bowling Green Republican has introduced a bill that would create what he calls “economic freedom zones” in zip codes where at least one-quarter of the residents live at or below the poverty line.

That move comes amid a debate at both the federal and state governmental levels over whether the minimum wage should be hiked. Congress is considering whether to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo sponsored legislation this year that would have increased the state’s minimum wage to that same level over the course of three years.

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator is undecided on a 2016 presidential bid, and so are his constituents. 

A poll released Wednesday shows 31% of registered voters in Kentucky say Senator Paul should seek the Republican nomination for president while 34% say he should not.  Another 32% are undecided.

The poll by the New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation questioned 891 registered Kentucky voters between April 8-15.  While acknowledging his wife’s reservations about a presidential run, Paul has said he won’t make a decision until after the November elections. 

Meanwhile, the Bowling Green Republican continues trekking across the country and speaking at events.  This week he hosted school choice roundtables in Chicago and Milwaukee.  This weekend, Senator Paul will be in Massachusetts speaking at the Harvard Institute of Politics.  He’ll also address the state GOP convention in Maine.

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