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Politicians ->  Rand Paul ->  Press Releases
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Statement from Sens. Paul, McConnell and Rep. Whitfield on Paducah Site
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Congressman Ed Whitfield today released the following statement regarding the Department of Energy announcing its award for cleanup at the Paducah site - otherwise known as the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract.'Last year we fought hard to secure funding for the deactivation of the gaseous diffusion plant and environmental cleanup at the Paducah site and since then have pushed DOE to expedite this contract so vital cleanup work may begin. We are pleased that DOE has responded by awarding the IDIQ contract for deactivation of the gaseous diffusion plant, which we hope will create job opportunities in the community. While the IDIQ award is a positive development, there is more work to be done to ensure full cleanup at the site is completed in a safe and timely manner. For this reason, today, we are sending a letter to Secretary Moniz urging that DOE begin IDIQ work now and commit to long-term cleanup efforts as well.'Recent action taken by the Kentucky Congressional Delegation on behalf of Paducah: McConnell, Paul and Whitfield Urge DOE to Release Cleanup Funding for Paducah Whitfield Presses Energy Secretary on Paducah Cleanup Efforts (video) McConnell Advocates on Behalf of Paducah to DOE Secretary (video) McConnell, Paul and Whitfield Urge DOE to move quickly implementing the contract   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1202
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Senators Paul and Cardin Unite for Discussion of How Best to Restore Voting Rights for Millions of
Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today hosted a briefing on solutions to end the disenfranchisement of individuals with past criminal convictions. The Senators were joined by an expert panel of witnesses who spoke of the  national and local importance of restoring voting rights to millions of Americans who are currently out of prison but not fully able to claim a stake in their community due to a weak patch work of state laws. 'Our criminal justice system is broken. I recently introduced the Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act, a bill that would restore Federal voting rights for non-violent criminals. Additionally, I am working on legislation to reform federal drug laws to reduce the incarceration rate for non-violent offenders. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Ben Cardin on this issue and towards finding a solution to restore voting rights in this country,' Senator Paul said.   'Senator Paul and I don't agree on many issues, but we are united in our belief that America cannot justify disenfranchising such a large portion of our population. When prisoners are released, part of reintegrating them back into the community is allowing them the fundamental right to vote,' said Senator Cardin. 'The patchwork of standards for voting in Federal elections leads to an unfair disparity and unequal participation that disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minorities. My bill would allow the roughly 4 million Americans who have served their time the opportunity to be welcomed back into our democracy as a voting citizen.' 'Today's briefing made clear that federal legislation is needed to restore voting rights for all returning citizens. By continuing to deny citizens the right to vote based on a past criminal conviction, the government is endorsing a system that expects our citizens to contribute to the community, but denies them participation on our democracy. The ACLU applauds Senators Cardin and Paul for their critical work on voter restoration reforms and for engaging in this important bipartisan dialogue,' said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. 'Voting is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue, it is an American issue,' said Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel of the Washington, D.C., office of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. 'Restoring voting rights to people with past criminal convictions will expand our democracy, increase public safety, and streamline our nation's election system. Senator Cardin and Senator Paul's leadership can help change the national conversation on this issue. We urge Congress to move swiftly to restore voting rights to millions of Americans.'  ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1203
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Introduces the FAIR Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul yesterday introduced S. 2644, the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which would protect the rights of citizens and restore the Fifth Amendment's role in seizing property without due process of law. Under current law, law enforcement agencies may take property suspected of involvement in crime without ever charging, let alone convicting, the property owner. In addition, state agencies routinely use federal asset forfeiture laws; ignoring state regulations to confiscate and receive financial proceeds from forfeited property.  The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property. State law enforcement agencies will have to abide by state law when forfeiting seized property. Finally, the legislation would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund. 'The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime,' Sen. Paul said Click HERE for the FAIR Act legislation text.   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1204
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Requests Foreign Relations Committee Action on Stand with Israel Act
 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Ranking Member, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), requesting committee action on the Stand with Israel Act. Earlier this week, Sen. Paul took to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to pass the Stand with Israel Act, however Sen. Corker objected, citing the need to review the legislation in the Foreign Relations Committee. The purpose of this bill is to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority if it is allied with Hamas-the same Hamas that murdered two Israeli teenagers and one dual U.S.- Israeli teenager last week. Below is a copy of Sen. Paul's letter and video of his floor speech. CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL'S FLOOR SPEECH LETTER:   July 9, 2014   Senator Robert Menendez Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate Washington, DC  20510   Senator Bob Corker Ranking Member Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate Washington, DC  20510   Dear Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Corker, As you are aware, the terrorist organization Hamas, finding itself under extreme financial hardship and in need of a bailout, reached an agreement with the Palestinian Authority to create a unity government, with that government recently swearing in new ministers.  Hamas' charter declares that 'there is no solution to the Palestinian question except by Jihad,' its spokesperson in Gaza recently called for an intifada against Israel, and their political head has reaffirmed Hamas' commitment to Israel's destruction.  Hamas is also responsible for the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers from the West Bank-one of whom held U.S. citizenship.  Hamas' record of anti-Israel propaganda, terrorism and violence, as well as its call for the outright destruction of the state of Israel, compels us to take immediate action to prevent U.S. taxpayer money from falling into the hands of terrorists who would further destabilize the region and do harm to our friend and ally.  Under existing laws, foreign assistance cannot be provided to the Palestinian Authority if it is 'effectively controlled' by Hamas, or if Hamas has 'undue influence.'  Because we face a unique power sharing agreement, the Obama administration will not interpret the Palestinian Authority unity government as meeting either threshold under our current law.  In fact, according to a June 2nd report from the Washington Post, the Obama administration actually provided advice to the Palestinian Authority for how to form a government with Hamas that would not trigger U.S. legal requirements to cease assistance.  This is completely unacceptable. Immediately after the announcement of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, I introduced the Stand with Israel Act (S. 2265).  This legislation, which has 17 co-sponsors, would impose real conditions on U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, including formal recognition of Israel's right to exist, the renouncing of terrorism, removal of terrorists from security services, ceasing anti-Israeli propaganda, and commitment to previous diplomatic agreements with the U.S. and Israel.  Non-binding resolutions and waiver-ridden laws will not stop American funds from flowing to the terrorists in Hamas.   I have called for Congress to take immediate action on this legislation, and I have twice gone to the Senate floor to request consent to pass the bill so that Congress can move it to the president's desk as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, these consent requests have received objections from the Foreign Relations Committee leadership.  In part, these objections have been based on a need to maintain 'regular order' in the committee.   I know you share my deep concern for what this new Palestinian Authority government will mean for the future security of Israel, but a high priority such as this should not be delayed on procedural grounds.  While Hamas is murdering Israelis and launching rockets into Israel, the committee has been rendered helpless by its own precedents.  The time for deliberation is over.  I request that the Foreign Relations Committee begin consideration of the Stand with Israel Act as soon as possible.  We must clearly demonstrate that we will not allow terrorists seeking the destruction of Israel to receive money from our own government.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent situation, and I look forward to receiving your commitment to schedule committee action on this important legislation.   Sincerely,   Rand Paul, M.D.            United States Senator   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1193
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sens. Paul and Booker Introduce Criminal Justice Reform Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NY) today introduced sweeping legislation to reform the nation's broken criminal justice system, which has grown increasingly costly over the past four decades. The REDEEM Act will give Americans convicted of non-violent crimes a second chance at the American dream. The legislation will help prevent youthful mistakes from turning into a lifetime of crime and help adults who commit non-violent crimes become more self-reliant and less likely to commit future crimes. 'The biggest impediment to civil rights and employment in our country is a criminal record. Our current system is broken and has trapped tens of thousands of young men and women in a cycle of poverty and incarceration. Many of these young people could escape this trap if criminal justice were reformed, if records were expunged after time served, and if non-violent crimes did not become a permanent blot preventing employment,' Sen. Paul said.  'I will work with anyone, from any party, to make a difference for the people of New Jersey and this bipartisan legislation does just that,' Sen. Booker said. 'The REDEEM Act will ensure that our tax dollars are being used in smarter, more productive ways. It will also establish much-needed sensible reforms that keep kids out of the adult correctional system, protect their privacy so a youthful mistake can remain a youthful mistake, and help make it less likely that low-level adult offenders re-offend.'  Specifically, the REDEEM (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) Act: · Offers adults way to seal non-violent criminal records: Presents the first broad-based federal path to the sealing of criminal records for adults. Non-violent offenders will be able to petition a court and make their case. Furthermore, employers requesting FBI background checks will get only relevant and accurate information - thereby protecting job applicants - because of provisions to improve the background check system. · Incentivizes states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18-years-old: Currently 10 states have set the original jurisdiction of adult criminal courts below 18-years-old. This sends countless kids into the unforgiving adult criminal system. The REDEEM Act incentivizes states to change that by offering preference to Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant applications for those that have set or older 18 as the age of original jurisdiction for adult criminal courts. · Allows for sealing and expungement of juvenile records: Provides for automatic expungement of records for kids who commit non-violent crimes before they turn 15 and automatic sealing of records for those who commit non-violent crimes after they turn 15 years old. ·Restricts use of juvenile solitary confinement: Ends the cruel and counterproductive practice of solitary confinement except in the most extreme circumstances in which it is necessary to protect a juvenile detainee or those around them. · Lifts ban on SNAP and TANF benefits for low-level drug offenders: The REDEEM Act restores access to benefits for those who have served their time for use, possession, and distribution crimes provided their offense was rationally related to a substance abuse disorder and they have enrolled in a treatment program. As taxes on hard-working Americans have increased to help pay for prison spending, there are fewer resources available for law enforcement, rehabilitative programs, and proven investments in children to prevent crime in the first place. The result has been a cycle of spending and incarceration that led to more than a quarter of a trillion dollars a year drained from our economy going to unproductive uses. Though only five percent of the world's population lives in the United States, it is home to 25 percent of the world's prison population. This phenomenon has rapidly increased in the years since 1980 and the federal prison population has grown by nearly ten-fold since. Not only does the current overpopulated, underfunded system hurt those incarcerated, it also digs deeper into the pockets of taxpaying Americans. In 1980, the average American contributed $77 a year to corrections expenditures. By 2010, that number jumped to $260. When you factor in other related costs such as judicial and legal services, that number grows exponentially.  ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1192
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Stands with Israel
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today took to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to pass the Stand with Israel Act. The legislation, S.2265, was introduced on April 29, 2014 and Sen. Paul asked consent of the Senate to pass the legislation on May 1, 2014. The purpose of this bill is to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority if it is allied with Hamas-the same Hamas that murdered two Israeli teenagers and one dual U.S.- Israeli teenager last week. Below is the transcript and video of Sen. Paul's floor speech. CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL'S FLOOR SPEECH   TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Paul: I don't believe that foreign aid should go to countries that persecute Christians. I also don't believe that foreign aid should go to countries that host terrorists within their government. I've had this belief for some time, but I've met with a great deal of resistance in the Senate.  Last week in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I introduced an amendment that said that any country that persecutes Christians by law -- Pakistan has a Christian woman, Asia Bibi. She's on death row for the crime some blasphemy. Others say she never said a word. She's really in prison for being a Christian. She's been there for five years. I say Pakistan shouldn't get taxpayer money and that no taxpayer money should go to countries that are persecuting Christians.  In the Sudan, another country that receives money from the American taxpayer, Miriam abrihim. She married a man who was a Christian. She tried to escape recently and she was re-detained. The only thing that's consistent about foreign aid is that it continues to flow, regardless of restrictions, regardless of window dressing to say, oh, if a country does this, we'll take it back. It never happens.  Your foreign aid, your hard-earned American tax dollars continue to flow to these countries no matter what their behavior is. So two weeks ago, I came to the floor and I said, you know what in Israel, Hamas is now joining with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is a terrorist group that does not recognize Israel and attacks Israel on a routine basis. Now that they will be part of a unity government, they will be receiving foreign aid from America. And so I said, for goodness sakes, would we not want restrictions on this aid? Would we not to say that our money shouldn't flow to Hamas?  They should have to recognize Israel's right to exist. They should have to renounce violence. On a daily basis, they lob missiles from Gaza into Israel. And yet, in the Foreign Relations Committee, only one other member had the guts to vote against this foreign aid. Because foreign aid is so entrenched in our national psyche that it goes on regardless of the behavior.  Now, some will say, oh, well there are rules. If Hamas becomes a big part of this government, they won't get any money. Well, guess what? Hamas can read. They have read our legislation. They are purposely setting up their unity government to evade our restrictions. There are already people who say the President has a waiver. So in my legislation, the Stand with Israel Act, we would get rid of the Presidential waiver and say if Hamas joins a government with a Palestinian Authority, they should get no American taxpayer money. I said this two weeks ago.  The Democrats came and said no. President Obama doesn't want to give up the authority to continue sending money to these countries. Well, a week ago, we had another disaster. In Israel, three young teenagers were killed. The response of Hamas was to stand up and cheer. I can give you the direct response of Hamas -- their political director said that -- 'Blessed be the hands that captured them.' They stood with glee and cheered when these three teenaged boys were killed in cold blood. These were not soldiers. These were civilians. The news reports are that Hamas has joined this unity government precisely because they are bankrupt. They want to get our money. That's why they are joining the unity government. What is ours? Ours is a tepid please don't behave that way. But we have no teeth. The same thing in Egypt, the same thing in Pakistan.  Country after country, the only thing that is consistent is the money never stops and the behavior never changes.  Some will argue that foreign aid is a way to project American power. Well, if it is, we ought to be projecting American values. We should project what America stands for. We shouldn't be saying here's some money, do with it what you will.  So this has real teeth. This act is called the Stand with Israel Act and says no money to terrorists, no money to Hamas unless they are willing to give up the war and begin to find peaceful means of coexisting. So this evening, I'd like to ask unanimous consent that the Committee on Foreign Relations be discharged from further consideration of Senate Bill 2265 and that the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration. I further ask consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to consider be made and laid upon the table.   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1190
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul: Fund Infrastructure Needs by Lowering Repatriation Rate
Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's remarks on infrastructure projects: 'The interstate highway system is of vital importance to our economy,' said Sen. Paul. 'All across the country, bridges and roads are deficient and in need of replacement. We can help fund new construction and repair by lowering the repatriation rate and bringing money held by U.S. companies back home. This would mean no new taxes, but more revenue, and it is a solution that should win support from both political parties.' U.S. companies are currently holding more than $2 trillion of profits made overseas outside of the United States. Currently, the repatriation rate is 35 percent, leaving little to no incentive to bring these profits back to the U.S. Sen. Paul has proposed legislation, S. 911, which would establish an Emergency Transportation Safety Fund and reduce the repatriation rate to five percent.   ###  
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1186
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Honors 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today offered the following statement honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act: 'Tomorrow, July 2nd, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is simply unimaginable to think what modern America would be like if not for the brave men and women who stood up for the rights of all Americans. This legislation changed the future of our nation by enforcing the belief that all men and women are created equal. We must continue to build an America that our children-of every race, creed and color-deserve,' Sen. Paul said.   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1185
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Sen. Paul?s Statement on SCOTUS Right to Work Decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled to reject mandatory union dues for home-health aides:   'I applaud the blow struck for worker freedom decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court. These home-healthcare workers should not, and will not, have to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Further, the court's hinting at overturning Abood and invalidating forced union clauses nationwide is heartening,' Sen. Paul said. 'No worker anywhere should be forced to pay dues to a union in order to work. That's why I am the sponsor of a National Right to Work law, and why I will continue to encourage others to challenge forced union dues in their entirety before the court in the near future.'  ###  
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1184
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Praises SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling sided with Hobby Lobby on the contraception mandate:  'Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious freedom by taking a stand with Hobby Lobby. Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment,' Sen. Paul said. 'Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty.' ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1183
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul: Supreme Court Right in Cell Phone Case
Sen. Rand Paul issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that requires government to obtain a warrant to search a cell phone: “The Supreme Court was absolutely right to recognize how invasive searches are of people’s digital lives and that the Fourth Amendment protects Americans from this type of activity by our government,” said Sen. Paul. “This decision has a direct bearing on what the NSA is doing. As our technology evolves, our Constitution endures, and I will continue to fight for these vital civil liberties.”
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1182
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Speaks in Defense of Women and Christians Around the World
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today offered remarks at the Senate Foreign Relations Human Rights Subcommittee Hearing regarding the global situation of violence against women.  A transcript and clip of Sen. Paul's remarks can be found below. CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL'S REMARKS REMARKS: The great Pakistani poet, Parveen Shakir, wrote: 'They insist upon evaluating the firefly in daylight. The children of our age have grown clever.'  Malala Yousufzai never met the great Urdu poet Parveen Shakir. She could not have, as their lives missed each other by several years, with Shakir's life cut short in an accident in 1994.  But Malala's courage, vibrancy and wit would have made Shakir proud. It would have made her proud that a young woman was standing up so strongly. It would have made her smile that the young woman is only 15 years old. Unfortunately, now, because of the actions of extremists in the Pakistani Taliban, young women must fight for the right to simply attend school. Malala, in her young life, has insisted on exposing the firefly to daylight. Her 'crime,' as seen by the Taliban, is to believe in enlightenment, to believe that out of the darkness tolerance can glow and overpower ignorance. Shakir would have been both pleased by Malala's actions and saddened that they were necessary. You see, Shakir was highly educated in the pre-Taliban Pakistan, earning two undergraduate degrees, two Masters' and a Ph.D. from the University at Karachi in Pakistan. She taught and published poetry to widespread acclaim. Contrast this with the battle Malala has led in the Western provinces of Pakistan against the Taliban, whose dictates included that girls should not be educated formally at all. Malala knew that if the Taliban won, there could never be another Perveen Shakir to come out of Pakistan. Nor could there be another Benazir Bhutto. That is why she fought, and why we should all be paying attention right now to struggles such as hers. Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, sits on death row for blasphemy. She says it all began when she drew water from a Muslim well. As she was filling her bowl with water, a crowd formed chanting, 'Death! Death to the Christian!' She pleaded for her life. She was pelted with stones, punched in the face and dragged through the streets. The local Imam finally intervened only to say, 'If you don't want to die, you must convert to Islam.' The crowd descended on her again beating her with sticks.  Finally, the police stopped the attackers only to arrest her. For over a year now, Asia Bibi has been on death row for the alleged crime of blasphemy. According to her co-workers, she insulted the Prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row. Meanwhile, the U.S. taxpayer has forked over billions of dollars to the Pakistani government, which condones the persecution of Christians. Many countries that receive U.S. foreign aid have laws that officially discriminate against Christians. Persecution of women is wrong.  Persecution of Christians is wrong.  Persecution of women or Christians in the name of religion must be stood up to.  American power, if it is to have value in the world, must be used as a force against persecution.  Our aid money, for example, should never go to countries that persecute women or Christians, not one dime.  But today, it does. Some say our foreign aid protects American power. These same people, however, resist attaching conditions to foreign aid Why would we send aid to countries whose laws punish the free exercise of religion? I believe no aid should go to countries that legally discriminate against women or Christians. We are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs. Our jobs, as the powerful, is to use our might to speak for those who cannot.    Whether that is the bully pulpit, our foreign aid, our state department, our immigration policy, or our trade policy, all avenues should be open to us in solving this worldwide problem.   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1181
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Introduces Amendment to Prioritize Transportation Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul introduced an amendment to H.R. 4660, the minibus appropriations bill, which would prioritize grant funding for certain transportation projects based on the economic benefits of the projects to the public.   “The interstate highway system is of vital importance to our national economy,” said Sen. Paul. “In Kentucky and across the country we have bridges and roads in need of repair and replacement. It is critical that we prioritize our transportation projects. This amendment would place common sense and practical criteria on projects funded through appropriations.”   The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell, would prioritize grants issued through the National Infrastructure Investments program. Grants through this program are designated for capital investment improvements that are to provide significant impact to the country, or a specific region.   “I thank Sen. Paul for introducing this important amendment,” Sen. McConnell said. “We are committed to advancing Kentucky’s critical transportation infrastructure and will continue to work together on this priority.”   Sen. Paul’s amendment establishes the following criteria for the grants:   Whether the project will have a positive impact on one or more interstate highways The projects in need of repair or replacement have been deemed to be structurally or functionally obsolete and a risk to public safety The economic impact of the project on interstate commerce by focusing on shipping and trucking commerce, proximity to other states, and availability of alternative routes          
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1180
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Continues to Object to Federal Reserve Nominations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today declared his intent to object to the pending nominations to the Federal Reserve System unless S. 209, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, is also considered. Sen. Paul has requested consideration of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act for four consecutive years and will continue to oppose all Federal Reserve nominations until this legislation is considered.  'The American people have a right to know what this institution is doing with the nation's money supply. The Federal Reserve does not need prolonged secrecy-it needs to be audited, and my bipartisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act will do just that,' Sen. Paul said. 
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1170
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul: EPA Rule an Assault on Economy, Illegal Use of Executive Power
Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed rule that targets coal-fired power plants: 'This latest assault on our economy by President Obama will destroy jobs here in Kentucky and across the country, and will hurt middle class families by hiking their utility bills and straining their budgets,' said Sen. Paul. 'The excessive rule is an illegal use of executive power and I will force a vote to repeal it.'   ###  
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1168
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Issues Letter to Acting VA Secretary Seeking Answers on Kentucky Veterans' Health Care
Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following letter to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs Sloan Gibson inquiring about the quality of care for veterans in Kentucky. In the letter, Sen. Paul asks Acting Sec. Gibson to provide the results of any reviews of facilities providing care to Kentucky veterans, as well as any information regarding the timeliness, quality of care, and potential abuses of the electronic wait list system. 'We know that the problems at the Department of Veteran Affairs are deeper than any one resignation or firing can fix,' said Sen. Paul. 'This is a systemic failure and Kentuckians deserve to know the full extent of the abuses.' The text of the letter can be found below:   LETTER TEXT May 30, 2014   The Honorable Sloan Gibson Acting Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20420   Dear Acting Secretary Gibson:   I am writing to you today regarding the quality of care for veterans in Kentucky. As you know, an internal review of Department performance has found some misconduct in nearly two-thirds of VA facilities, and thousands of veterans across the country have been impacted by long wait-times that were covered up by the Veterans' Hospital Administration officials. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is blessed to have more than 390,000 veterans residing within its borders. I want to make sure the same problems that occurred in Arizona, are not also affecting the veterans of my state. Our veterans have served this nation unselfishly and have sacrificed a great deal in doing so. We have an obligation to provide both effective and timely care to those who have served us. At this point all reviews of problems in the VHA indicate that the mismanagement and neglect at the Phoenix VA Health System are not an isolated incident, but rather a systemic problem at VA facilities across the nation. I have heard complaints from many veterans in Kentucky that they have also been facing lengthy delays in obtaining appointments, have not been able to access healthcare in a timely manner, and have expressed grave concerns over the quality of medical care provided while attempting to receive care from the various facilities that provide services to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am requesting that you provide my office with the results of any reviews of facilities providing care to Kentucky veterans, as well as information regarding the timeliness, quality of care and potential abuses of the electronic wait list system for the scheduling of veterans of Kentucky under the Veterans Integrated Service Networks 9, 10, and 15. I ask that you provide this information within one week. Thank you for your timely attention to this urgent matter. Please send any response to my office at: Senator Rand Paul United States Senate 124 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510   Sincerely,   Senator Rand Paul   ###  
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1167
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Statement on Approval of Hemp Seeds Release in Kentucky
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement following the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) approval of the release of hemp seeds pursuant to a provision in the Farm Bill that allowed a pilot program for universities and other entities in the Commonwealth to grow industrial hemp:'I am glad the needless delay appears to be over and the program we have worked on for more than a year is about to become a reality. I have been working with Attorney General Holder on Kentucky's program for months, and I am pleased that his department has helped us move the program forward as Congress intended.'    ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1164
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Opposes the Nomination of Barron
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Sen. Rand Paul today took to the Senate floor to oppose the nomination of Professor David Barron to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Sen. Paul's prepared floor remarks can be found below.   REMARKS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY: I rise today in opposition to killing American citizens without trials. I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat. I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court. It isn't about seeing the Barron memos. It is about what they say. I believe the Barron memos disrespect the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights isn't so much for the American Idol winner. The Bill of Rights isn't so much for the Prom Queen or the High School quarterback. The Bill of Rights is especially for the least popular among us. The Bill of Rights is especially for minorities, whether you are a minority by virtue of the color of your skin or the shade of your ideology. The Bill of Rights is especially for unpopular people and unpopular ideas and unpopular religions. It is easy to argue for trials for Prom queens and American Idol winners. It is harder to argue for trials for traitors and those who wish harm on fellow Americans. A mature freedom, though, defends the defenseless. Allows trials for the guilty. Protects even speech of the most despicable nature. After 9/11, we all recoiled in horror at massacre of thousands of innocents.  We fought a war to tell our enemies that we would not allow anyone to attack us. As our soldiers returned from Afghanistan, I often ask them to explain in their own words what they fought for and to a soldier they explain that they fought to defend the constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a disservice to their sacrifice not to openly debate whether the Bill of Rights applies to American citizens not directly involved in combat. Let me be perfectly clear, I am not referring to anyone on the field of battle.  Anyone engaged in combat against the United States, citizen or not, has no guarantee of due process. The nomination before us, though, is about killing American citizens NOT engaged in combat. The nominee, David Barron, has written a defense of drone executions of American citizens NOT directly involved in combat. Make no mistake, these memos don't limit drone executions to one individual these memos become historic precedent for killing citizens abroad. Some have argued that releasing the memos is sufficient to allow his nomination. This isn't a debate about transparency. This is a debate about whether or not American citizens not involved in combat are guaranteed due process. Realize that during the Bush years, most of President Obama's party, including President Obama himself, argued against detention of American citizens without trial yet now, they advocate killing American citizens without trial. During President Obama's first election he told the Boston Globe: 'No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.' But now as President, Obama not only signed legislation allowing detention without trial but approved killing without trial. Where o where has candidate Obama gone? President Obama now puts forward David Barron whose memos justify the killing of an American citizen without trial. I can't tell you what Barron wrote in the memos. The President forbids it. I can tell you what Barron did not write.  He did not write or cite any legal precedent for killing an American citizen not involved in combat. Because no such precedent exists. Barron creates out of whole cloth a defense for executing American citizens without trial.  The cases he cites (which I am forbidden from telling you) are unrelated to the issue of killing American citizens NOT engaged in combat. This is not a secret. No court has ever decided a case involving the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen not involved in combat.  So Barron's secret defense of drone executions relies on cases, which upon critical analysis, have no pertinence to the case at hand. Am I the only one who thinks that something so unprecedented as the assassination of American citizens should be discussed in the light of day?  Am I the only one that thinks that a question of such magnitude should be decided in the open by the Supreme Court? Barron's arguments for extrajudicial killing of American citizens challenges over a thousand years of jurisprudence. Trials based on a presumption of innocence are an ancient right. The Romans wrote that the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies. We describe it as the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. In many nations, presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial. In America we go even further to protect the accused. We place the burden of proof on the prosecution.  We require the government to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the jury. To protect the possibility of innocence, we also require that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused is to be acquitted. Innocent until proven guilty is tested when the consensus is that the accused is very likely guilty, when the consensus is that the accused is unpopular or hated. The principle of innocent until proven guilty is more difficult when the accused is charged with treason. The Bill of Rights is easy to adhere to when we like the speech or sympathize with the defendant. Defending the right to trial for people we fear or dislike is more difficult. It is easy for many to support a trial for someone who looks like them, for someone with the same color skin and for someone with the same religion. Presumption of innocence is, however, much harder for some when the citizen is a minority, when the citizen practices a minority religion, when the citizen resides in a foreign land and sympathizes with the enemy. Our history is replete with examples of heroes who defended the defenseless, who defended the unpopular: 1.  John Adams defended the unpopular when he represented British troops for their role in the famous Boston Massacre. 2.  His son, John Quincy Adams defended the slaves who took over the slave ship Amistad that had kidnapped them. 3. Henry R. Selden defended the unpopular when he represented Susan B. Anthony when she was tried for unlawfully voting as a woman. 4. Eugene Debs defended himself from charges that he opposed the draft and WWI.  He was convicted to ten years in prison. 6. Clarence Darrow defended the unpopular in the Scopes Monkey trial. 7.  Thurgood Marshall defended the unpopular when he convinced the Supreme Court to strike down school segregation. Where would we be without champions to defend the unpopular? One can almost argue that the right to trial is more precious the more unpopular the defendant.  We cannot.  We should not abandon our most cherished principles. Critics will argue but these are evil people who plot and plan to kill Americans. My first instinct is, like most Americans, to recoil in horror and want immediate punishment for traitors. I can't stand the thought of Americans who consort with and advocate for the enemy.  I want to punish Americans who are traitors to their country.  But I am also conscious of what these traitors have betrayed. These traitors are betraying a country that holds dear the precept that we are innocent until proven guilty. Aren't we, in a way, betraying our country's principles when we relinquish the right to a jury trial? The maxim that we are innocent until proven guilty is in some ways like our first amendment that presumes that speech is ok. It is easy to protect complimentary speech, it is easy to protect speech you agree with.  It is harder to protect speech you abhor. The First Amendment is not so much about protecting speech that is easily agreed to, it is about tolerating speech that is an abomination. Likewise, the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments are not so much about protecting majorities of thought, religion, or ethnicity -- due process is about protecting everyone especially minorities. Unpopular opinions change from generation to generation. While today it may be burka-wearing Muslims, it has at times been yarmulke-wearing Jews.  It has at times been African Americans.  It has at times been Japanese Americans.  And it is not beyond belief that someday, Evangelical Christians could become a persecuted minority. The process of determining guilt or innocence is an incredibly important one. Even with a jury, justice is not easily discovered. One has only to watch the jurors deliberate in Twelve Angry Men to understand that finding justice, even with a jury is not always straightforward. Today, virtually everyone sympathizes with Tom Robinson who is unfairly accused in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Because the reader knows Robinson is innocent and because the reader knows his accusation was based on race, it is actually a slam-dunk to believe that he should get a trial by a jury. It is easy to object to vigilante justice when you know the accused is innocent.  When the mob attempts an extrajudicial execution, we stand with Atticus Finch. We stand for the rule of law. But what of an American citizen who by all appearances is a traitor? Do we have the courage to denounce drone executions as nothing more than sophisticated vigilantism? How can it be anything but vigilantism?  Due process can't exist in secret.  Checks and balances can't exist in one branch of government.  Whether it be upon the advice of one lawyer or ten thousand lawyers, if they all work for one man - the President - how can that be anything but a verdict outside the law - a verdict that could conceivably be subject to the emotions of prejudice and fear. A verdict that could be wrong. This President, above all other presidents, should fear allowing so much power to gravitate to just one man. It is admittedly hard to defend the right to a trial for an American citizen who becomes a traitor and appears to aid and abet the enemy.  But we must.  If we cannot defend the right to trial for the most heinous crimes, then where will the slippery slope lead us? The greatness of American jurisprudence is that everyone gets his or her day in court no matter how despicable the crime they are accused of.  Critics say how would we try these Americans who are overseas? The Constitution holds the answer. They should be tried for treason. If they refuse to return home, they should be tried in abstentia and provided a legal defense. If they are found guilty, the method of punishment is not the issue. The issue is and always has been the right to a trial, the presumption of innocence, and the guarantee of due process to everyone, no matter how heinous the crime. For these reasons, I cannot support the nomination of David Barron. Even if the administration releases a dozen Barron memos, I cannot support Barron. The debate is not about partisan politics as I have supported many of the President's nominees.  The debate is not about transparency. It is about the substance of the memos. I cannot and will not support a lifetime appointment of someone who believes it is ok to kill an American citizen not involved in combat without a trial.   ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1160
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Issues Statement on Barron Nomination
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Professor David Barron to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit: 'I've read David Barron's memos concerning the legal justification for killing an American citizen overseas without a trial or legal representation, and I am not satisfied. While the President forbids me from discussing what is in the memos, I can tell you what is not in the memos. There is no valid legal precedent to justify the killing of an American citizen not engaged in combat. In fact, one can surmise as much because the legal question at hand has never been adjudicated. Therefore, I shall not only oppose the nomination of David Barron, but will filibuster,' Sen. Paul said. ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1158
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
Sen. Paul Opening Statement at HELP Committee Hearing
Sen. Rand Paul offered the following opening statement at today's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, while serving as the Committee's Ranking Member. The hearing today was held to examine strengthening of minority serving institutions, primarily focusing on the best practices and innovations for student success. Below is the video and text of his statement.CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL'S OPENING STATEMENT TRANSCRIPT: Thank you Senator Hagan and Senator Alexander for allowing me to be the Ranking Member today. I get an unusual promotion to do this but I appreciate the opportunity, you know Kentucky is famous for a lot of, both good things and bad things that happened in education over time. We're proud of our historically black colleges, Kentucky State, were proud of the fact that Berea College was one of the first integrated colleges in the South. We're not so proud of the fact that after about 50 years of being integrated they passed a law in the Kentucky State Legislature banning integration, which continued to be the law until I believe until Brown v. Board. But Kentucky is essentially been a microcosm of both good and bad things happening, Kentucky State University is our main historic black college and the president has been Dr. Sias who's been the president for the last 10 years and she's retiring. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate her on a great term being Kentucky states' first female public university president. Kentucky states had several famous graduates, I'd like to mention a couple, a few. Marion Kelly was the first Undersecretary of the Department of Labor under President George Herbert Walker Bush. Ersa Hines Poston was the first African American to head the United States Civil Service Commission and Whitney M. Young a graduate was a famous civil rights leader and head of the National Urban League. Also in Kentucky in the 19th century we had a University by the name of State University which was one of the first university's to educate African Americans when there were no other opportunities its recently been resurrected and re-chartered and reaccredited. Thanks really to the leadership of Dr. Kevin Cosby in Louisville and it's been a great asset to rejuvenating part of our town of Louisville. One of its famous graduates was William Warley. Who I think really has been underappreciated in history, but there was a case in 1917 that was Buchanan v. Warley which was one of the most famous Supreme Court cases where we overturned Jim Crow housing segregation laws. This was way back in 1917; the problem still persisted for a long time the Supreme Court actually did the right thing though in 1917. And William Warley was a famous Republican, founder of the NAACP and also led this court case, as a one of the first NAACP trial cases that they fought in the early days. One of the things I've noticed as I've traveled around the country and meeting with African American leaders in each city that I go to, is that Morehouse grads are everywhere, anybody a Morehouse grad today? I laughingly call them the Morehouse Mafia because they're everywhere but a good friend of mine Elroy Sailor has introduced me to a lot of their grads. He graduated at 20 from Morehouse and now is a partner and co-founder and CEO of Watts Partners here in D.C. In my travels though I've met many Morehouse grads, Nate Ford has become a friend. He's a Morehouse grad and Vice President of Energy Partners, former Director of Engineering for the city of Detroit. Lindsey Bell is a Morehouse grad who is now a candidate for commissioner for Hall County, Georgia and is a candidate for the State Board of Education in Georgia, all Morehouse grads so there's some great success stories out there, and I get tired sometimes of hearing all the bad stories. I'm glad and I hope some of what we'll hear today are some of the good stories and the success stories that were having both with education and with individual  success. I think part of the success though we have to, and Senator Alexander has been a leader in this. We have to think about how we educate people, not only at the college level but getting people to college and getting them ready. And I think one of the real answers is through charter schools and through school choice and I think if were able to do that I think there's much more potential that we can find for everyone. I want to thank Senator Hagan for convening this hearing and for allowing me to participate and thank the panel for attending. ###
Source: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1157
Posted In:  Politicians -> Rand Paul -> Press Releases
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