Rand Paul says he will vote against budget bill that adds to deficit -- after voting for deficit-hiking tax bill

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSen. Rand Paul

  • Sen. Rand Paul announced in a video on Twitter that he will vote against any government funding legislation.
  • A funding bill must be passed before December 22 – or the federal government will partially shut down.
  • Paul said he is still a “yes” on the GOP tax bill despite official analyses showing that it would add more than $US1 trillion to the federal deficit.

Sen. Rand Paul announced Tuesday that he will reject any government funding legislation in the coming weeks.

Current funding, in the form of a short-term extension passed on Thursday, will expire December 22. Without new funding passed before that date, the federal government would enter a partial shutdown.

Paul argued in a video on Twitter that any funding legislation would likely result in a continued increase of the federal deficit. The Kentucky Republican said the current pace of debt accumulation is unsustainable, arguing there should be significant spending cuts to get the debt under control.

“I cannot in good conscience vote to add more to the already massive $US20 trillion debt,” Paul said. “I promised Kentucky to vote against reckless deficit spending and I will do just that. Count me as a ‘no’ on any budget-busting spending bill.”

Paul is among a core group of conservatives in the House and Senate that have opposed the funding legislation due to avowed concerns about the federal debt.

Leaders from the Republican and Democratic leadership are attempting to hash out a deal, focused on defence spending and other legislative priorities like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.

In a follow-up tweet, Paul suggested he would still support the Republican tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Paul voted for the initial Senate version of the bill. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the TCJA would add roughly $US1 trillion to the federal deficit even when factoring in increased economic growth from the bill.

But Paul tweeted that the tax bill would decrease the size of the federal government, which in his eyes makes it worthwhile.

“Tax cuts – people keeping more of their money – are never the problem,” Paul tweeted. “The problem is spending. We should obey our rules, stop the deficit spending, and shrink government.”

Watch Paul’s announcement here:

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