Rand Paul: '85 Percent of Government Is Being Funded'
(CNSNews.com) - For lack of funding, the federal government has shut down "non-essential" services, but in fact, much of the government is still being funded, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.
"But one of the under-reported stories here is 85 percent of government is being funded," Paul told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Tuesday. "Two thirds of the government is Social Security, Medicare -- all of that is going on. And then we agreed yesterday, Harry Reid did come forward when we asked him to, and he finally agreed to pay the soldiers. So now we're up to that, 85 percent of the government."
The Senate on Monday passed the "Pay Our Military Act," which cleared the Republican-led House over the weekend. The legislation, signed by President Obama, will keep paying troops and civilian support personnel during a government shutdown.
On Tuesday, House Republicans tried unsuccessfully to pass three additional funding bills for veterans programs, national parks, monuments and museums, and the city of Washington, D.C. House Democrats refused to go along, and neither will the Democrat-led Senate.
But Paul said the Republican effort to fund most of government will continue:
"I think every day we should present more of the government we're willing to fund. We're willing to fund the entire government really short of Obamacare. And even on Obamacare, we're willing, I think, I am at least, to compromise and say, if you won't agree to defunding it, can you at least agree to make it less bad? But we're going to keep at it every day, we're going to add something new, and we're going to continue funding."
Paul told Hannity it's the job of Congress to oversee government spending: "And that means that laws, even previously passed laws, have to be judged on their merits and given funding proportional to their merits. And I think that is exactly what we're doing now" (with Obamacare).
He also accused Democrats of playing games by barricading the World War II Memorial on Tuesday:
"People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades, to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they're trying to play a charade, they're going to play a game with us to say, 'You can't see the monuments.' That is ridiculous. They are doing it because they're just aren't serious about this. They like the shutdown."