Rand Paul threatens to vote down GOP budget, potentially jeopardizing tax cuts

Rand Paul Health Care AP FBN

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is on the fence about the costs of the budget proposal and, where it stands now, he may not be able to support the measure, a source familiar with the matter told FOX Business on Tuesday.

The senator, who is a known fiscal conservative, would vote in favor of the budget so long as it stayed within the caps mandated by the Budget Control Act – which places limits on federal spending through fiscal year 2021. However, the same source told FOX Business Tuesday that the budget resolution currently being discussed is well beyond those set restrictions.

On Tuesday, Paul accused Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) of “torpedoing the budget” through the addition of spending measures.

If no Democrats vote in favor of the budget resolution, Republicans can only afford to lose the support of two lawmakers in order for the measure to pass.

The House of Representatives and a Senate committee passed the budget resolution earlier this month. The measure is expected to move through the wider Senate later this week, and is a critical piece of the tax reform puzzle because it contains the revenue line for tax reform, as well as the reconciliation mandate. Only after the budget resolution is adopted can the House Ways and Means Committee introduce the tax reform bill, which the GOP expects to be some time in November.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said during an interview last week that he would keep lawmakers in session through Christmas break in order to get tax reform done because “it’s just that important.”

Despite a potential hiccup in moving through to the tax reform debate, Paul told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney in an interview on Tuesday morning that he “cannot see [himself] not” voting in favor of tax reform so long as the bill does “what the president says and not increase taxes on the middle-income earners.”

Paul was one of the main holdouts during the ObamaCare repeal and replace debates because he was not in favor of leaving any pieces of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law intact.