A freshman senator single-handedly stopped Democrats from pushing through a bill expanding the District’s authority last week. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, thought it wasn’t right to further empower the city unless it committed to a respect for life, the right to work and the Second Amendment.
“We can’t tell states what to do, but D.C. is an unusual entity that was set up with the jurisdiction being under Congress,” Dr. Paul explained in an interview with The Washington Times. “So we have every constitutional reason to do it.”
He is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which was poised to adopt a bill granting Washington autonomy to make its own spending decisions without waiting for congressional approval. The eye surgeon threw a wrench into what appeared to be an easy vote for the Democratic majority by submitting amendments on what he calls “three important issues to conservatives around the country.”
Dr. Paul’s proposals would hardly raise an eyebrow in a red state, but they freaked out the liberals running Washington. He would codify the prohibition on taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions in the District, eliminating the need for Congress to do this every two years through the appropriations process. He also wanted to ensure residents aren’t forced to join labor unions as a prerequisite for obtaining a job. His other two amendments would grant concealed-weapon carry rights in the capital city and ease the process of buying a firearm.