Sen. Rand Paul Slows Down 860 Page Disaster

All of us have grown tired of massive bills that are crammed down our throats with promises that they will solve all the problems of the world. Obamacare was more than 2,000 pages long and promised it would completely save the healthcare industry – lower costs, increase access to care and make medicine better. We were promised that Dodd-Frank, which was also more than 2,000 pages, would solve all the problems in the banking industry and prevent the financial crisis of 2008 from ever happening again.

What we actually got from those bills was exactly what the authors intended, but not what we were told. It was about the expansion of government power, which has very negative consequences. Obamacare has caused healthcare costs to rise, and because of all the taxes and regulations included, it has actually hurt the economy more than it has helped. The same with Dodd-Frank. Government action spawned the housing bubble, which led to the financial crisis when the bubble popped. Dodd-Frank simply added more onerous regulations that cost billions of dollars a year and millions of hours of compliance without addressing the underlying issues. Again, it hurt the economy more than it helped.

Now we have the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is 860 pages long and claims to solve all the problems of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But what we’ve learned from long bills and claims as to what they do is that they do not work as promised. We cannot continue to pass bills to find out what is in them, because when we learn what is actually in them, we realize what a mistake it was to pass them in the first place.

But with ESEA, we have help. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is attempting to slow down this bill to give people a chance to read it, weigh in and have their grievances against big-government education heard. He has offered 74 amendments to the bill, each one requiring a vote and keeping the bill in the spotlight longer so that experts can examine it. As Sen. Paul explained it:

“This process is rotten from the top to the bottom. I would ask that we have a hearing; let’s find out what we think of No Child Left Behind before we rush through a 868-page bill that no one has time to read. This is what’s wrong with Washington.”

Yesterday, Sen. Paul took his objections to another level by invoking a seldom-used Senate rule which requires unanimous consent by all members of a committee to continue meeting beyond 2 hours. Sen. Paul objected, and the meeting was adjourned.

Sen. Paul was joined in his objections by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who also believes the bill is moving too fast and runs the risk of becoming another broken promise that hurts, rather than helps.

The two Senators are also joined by 21 educations groups who oppose the bill. Regardless of their reasoning, it proves that while this legislation may have been created by a bipartisan effort, there is far from a consensus on its merits.

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