Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has called himself the only economically conservative Republican presidential candidate in the running, which is why he says he voted down a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 18.
“It was over a trillion dollars, it was all lumped together -- 2,242 pages -- nobody read it, so frankly my biggest complaint is that I have no idea what kind of things they stuck in that bill in the middle of the night,” Paul said on New York radio talk show “The Cats Roundtable” on Dec. 20, according to Fox News.
“I voted against it because I won’t vote for these enormous bills that no one has a chance to read.”
Paul assigned blame to both sides of the aisle.
“Once again this came not at the behest of just the Democrats,” he said. “It came at the behest of right-wing Republicans who want military spending and left-wing Democrats who want welfare spending, and that’s the dirty little secret.”
The spending bill includes $700 billion in tax breaks and prevents another government shutdown, NPR reported. It also is intended to strengthen cybersecurity, end a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and provide healthcare for Sept. 11 first-responders.
The bill also contained revisions to the visa waiver program; travelers who have visited certain Middle Eastern countries will face additional screening.
Paul said the spending measures weren’t carefully reviewed, and that is “part of the reason why government is broke.” He added that if he were president, he would keep “government so small you can barely see it.”