U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) forced the U.S. Senate to go on the record on balancing the federal budget with a vote on his “Penny Plan” balanced budget bill. U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and 18 other Republican Senators voted with Paul in favor of his plan.
It was defeated 76 to 21 on Thursday morning.
According to Paul’s office, his budget plan would have balanced the budget in five years without touching Social Security, by restoring spending to pre-Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 levels and utilizing the “Penny Plan.”
His budget states that for every on-budget dollar the federal government spent in FY18, excluding the BBA, it spends one penny less for the next five years (at which point balance is reached), with spending then growing at one percent after that.
Paul says that his bill would cut spending by $404.8 Billion in FY19 and by $13.35 Trillion over ten years relative to the baseline. Under the bill spending still increases by 14.6 percent over the 10-year window.
Paul’s proposal also included instructions that paved the way for an expansion of Health Savings Accounts.
“[T]he bottom line is whether the debt is threatening our national security, whether it’s threatening the security and the economic foundation of our country, and I think without question it is. This vote is a litmus test for conservatives. Are you a conservative? Do you think we can cut one penny out of every dollar? I think it is a conservative notion that we have long said we are for. Now it’s time to step up to the plate and actually vote what you say you stand for,” Paul said during a floor speech before the vote.
Watch his full remarks below:
Republican Senators voting in favor of Paul’s proposal along with Paul, Ernst, and Grassley are U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Micheal Enzi (R-Wyoming), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania).
Twenty-nine Republican Senators joined 47 Democrats to vote against Paul’s proposal. They are U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Johnny Isaksson (R-Georgia), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), David Perdue (R-Georgia), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Todd Young (R-Indiana).