Rand Paul to force Senate vote on budget-slashing bill

Sen. Rand Paul plans to force a vote in the upcoming weeks on his “Penny Plan”, which would mandate cuts of the federal budget for five consecutive years, in hopes of curtailing spending in Washington and reducing skyrocketing national debt.

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The plan, which the Kentucky Republican introduced last week, reduces spending by cutting 1% of every governmental program each year for the next five years. The Senate will be forced to vote on the bill within the next week or so, Paul said.

“The Penny Plan, I think, is easier to get broad, bipartisan support for, because it doesn’t cut all of one program, it cuts 1% of every program,” Paul told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Tuesday. “And frankly, I think there’s enough waste, even in the military, to cut 1% of it and make government more efficient.”

Paul, a fiscal conservative, has been a vocal opponent of the $1.3 trillion spending measure that will fund the government through September, criticizing the White House -- and Republicans who supported it -- for contributing to the staggering $21 trillion national debt.

Although President Trump initially signaled he might veto the Omnibus Spending Bill -- based on the lack of funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and on concern of a “Dreamers” resolution omission -- he reluctantly signed the measure to secure an increase in military funding and $1.5 billion to begin construction of a wall on the nation’s southern border with Mexico. “The only way you’ll ever get rid of waste in government is to give them less funds,” he said. “If you say, ‘Oh, we’ve got waste and we’re going to cut waste next year, but we’re going to give you $100 billion in the Pentagon,’ it won’t be any waste cut. If we give you 1% less, there’ll be waste cut.”

Under pressure from Republicans, Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., are reportedly working on a so-called recission plan that would slash billions of dollars in spending from the budget. Paul said he’s yet to see the specifics of the plan, but suggested he would support it if it reduced spending.

“Spending less money is what I’ve been pitching for a while,” he said.