WHOA: Senator Rand Paul just UNLOADED on Paul Ryan…
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One thing about Senator Rand Paul is that he speaks his mind. Paul didn’t let us down with what he just said about House Speaker, Paul Ryan.
As reported by Breitbart:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a top conservative in the U.S. Senate, unloaded on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 replacement plan—that does not repeal Obamacare—in an exclusive interview on Wednesday with Breitbart News.
In the interview, Paul accused Ryan of misleading President Donald Trump on the process and the level of support in the House for the bill that House GOP leadership—at Ryan’s direction—put forward this week.
The House Freedom Caucus was publicly against this strategy before Ryan even rolled it out. The group of more than 40 House conservatives remains steadfastly opposed to Ryan’s plan on this front, showing no signs of breaking as they signaled before it was introduced, and now many Republican offices outside the House Freedom Caucus privately tell Breitbart News that as many as 70 or more House Republicans are opposed to Ryan’s plan.
Leadership knows this too, they say, as all the “hard no” votes have told the Speaker’s office or the whip teams they cannot vote for this bill. But Ryan is plowing forward, stating at a number of press conferences this week he is confident he will receive the 218 votes he needs to pass the bill—even though he clearly does not have them right now.
When asked what Ryan’s strategy is here, Paul told Breitbart News it makes no sense—and that he believes that the Speaker is deliberately misleading President Trump into thinking he has more support for this bill than he has, and that its fate is not in crisis.
Paul is confident that conservative House and Senate Republicans will stick together, defeat this bill, and then work with President Trump to separate repeal and replacement into different bills passed on the same day down the road. The fact that Paul is saying Ryan is misleading Trump is an explosive charge but is backed by the evidence of widespread mistrust in the House GOP conference over this bill and Ryan’s waning influence as Speaker—dislike of it extends far beyond the House Freedom Caucus, as Breitbart News can confirm.
I don’t think it makes any sense and I think he’s trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the president. I think when I’ve spoken with president Trump, I think he agrees with me that we should repeal and replace but I don’t think he’s stuck on that they have to be on the same bill necessarily. Paul Ryan, I think, is selling it to the White House and telling the White House, ‘Oh, it’s a piece of cake, it’s a done deal.’ And I don’t think that’s an accurate depiction of things. I think from the very beginning combining repeal and replace in one bill makes it very hard because we have different ideas on replacing. We are pretty much united on repeal, but we have different ideas on replace. If the House leadership had come forward and talked to conservatives beforehand, I think they would have found out there is a lot of disagreement and they would have just passed what we already passed—what everybody voted for—and we also have a debate on the same day on a variety of replacement strategies. We still could do that. And I think if the House Freedom Caucus and the Senate conservatives stay together, I still think that that’s one possible outcome. It would be better for all of us if we separated it out with clean repeal and had a replacement as a separate bill.
Paul also said he believes the concern—confirmed by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), a proponent of Obamacare 2.0, on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday evening—that illegal aliens will have access to Medicaid funds under Ryan’s bill is in fact a “valid concern.”
“I think that is a concern—a valid concern,” Paul told Breitbart News. “And I don’t think illegal immigrants—nor do I think we should be admitting people and putting them on welfare. We have enough poor people in our country without importing more people from around the world onto welfare.”
When asked if it is too late for Ryan to withdraw this bill and approach repealing and replacing Obamacare in a manner Republicans campaigned on for years, rather than in this convoluted way, Paul said: “No, I don’t think so.” And Paul believes that President Trump will be willing to bargain, given the fact that Ryan’s bill is unlikely to pass either chamber of Congress, according to many Republicans party-wide.
“President Trump has indicated look, his career in business has been about negotiating deals,” Paul said. “My guess is he realizes this is going to take some negotiation. He seems to be very open to hearing from conservatives. He’s been inviting my input and I’m aware he’s been inviting input from different members of the House Freedom Caucus as well.”
Paul also said that the goal here is not to kill any person’s bill or stop repeal of Obamacare—and that Ryan’s recklessness jeopardizes GOP chances to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The goal is to get one that passes,” Paul said. “I think they’re going in the wrong direction, but I think a clean repeal could pass again.”
When asked if President Trump is more open to the withdrawing of the leadership bill for his suggested approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare, Paul told Breitbart News: “I think so.” If Trump begins listening to conservatives, he argues, then he believes the president will change course and drop Ryan’s bill for one that has a better chance at success. Paul added:
I think what has to happen, and this is just beginning is that conservatives need to get in front of the president. So far it’s been leadership, which are mostly the establishment Republicans. I just think he needs to hear from some conservatives and he will realize there are many different issues. I think he does realize there are many different issues and many different factions out there. It’s complicated. You got to get them all on one page for one bill. It happened 14 months ago, we all voted for clean repeal. So I think there’s at least some evidence people will vote for a clean repeal bill.
Paul said that Republicans should pass a clean repeal bill and a replacement bill all on the same day, but he does not believe Ryan’s vision for Obamacare replacement is one that can gain widespread support inside the Republican Party.
“Everybody wants repeal and that’s what I keep telling people,” Paul said. “We’re united on repeal, we’re just not united on the replacement part. To me, it makes evidently good sense to divide them, because I don’t think we’re coming to an agreement. If Paul Ryan were sitting right here with us, I don’t think we’d have an agreement on replace, nor do I think we will, because his ideas are Obamacare Lite and conservatives in this country just aren’t for that.”