Several Republican Senators have failed to support President Donald J. Trump at crucial times during his impeccably successful first two years in office.
The usual suspects, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Sen. Bob Corker, (R-TN), support Trump less than 90% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. Sen. Susan Collins, (R-ME), supports the President 80% of the time, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) supports Trump 64% of the time.
But one name in particular stands out among Republicans whom one might expect to vote with the President on key issues. That name is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who supports Trump a disappointing 74% of the time.
Paul has voted against a Trump-supported bill nine times already in 2018.
In February, the libertarian-leaning Senator voted against the White House immigration proposal. The bill was a compromise for a DACA extension in exchange for border security, particularly “constructing, installing, deploying, operating, and maintaining tactical infrastructure and technology in the vicinity of the United States border,” or colloquially, building a wall.
Paul enjoys a cozy relationship with billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch, who fund the Americans for Prosperity.
“The plan by the Koch brothers to lobby the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress to pass an amnesty ahead of the 2018 midterm elections is a strategic political move for the billionaires in order to prevent Trump and likeminded Republicans from running campaigns against cheap, foreign labor and mass immigration,” wrote Breitbart in April.
Paul may oppose strict borders from a libertarian standpoint, but he is effectively doing the bidding of billionaire Republican donors like the Koch’s, who need a steady flow of economic migrants in order to keep their profit margins high.
On other issues, Paul breaks with the President too.
In January, he voted against the re-authorization of the warrantless spying provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is meant to allow the government to monitor the activities of suspected terrorists. Many fear that the program is extended to innocent U.S. citizens.
In the same month, Paul voted against the extension of government funding for four weeks, and then three days later against the extension of government funding for three weeks to end the federal government shutdown.
Curiously, Paul voted against Alex Azar to become Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 24.
Moving to February, Paul voted against the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, and then against the two year budget bill. In March, he voted against the 2018 fiscal year appropriation bill.
Finally, in May, Paul voted against Gina Haspel’s nomination to head the CIA.
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
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