Rand Paul Blocks a Safety Bill Because He’s a Special Snowflake

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's very rare for any piece of legislation beyond the renaming of a post-office to pass with nearly unanimous support, but as we've seen even if a bill easily sails through both chambers of Congress it only takes one fake libertarian to block it.

Failed presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is blocking the renewal of a chemical safety bill that was first passed in 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Why? Apparently he's the only person in all of a Congress who hasn't read it.

“One of the pledges I made to the people of Kentucky when I came here was that I would read the bills,” Paul said on the Senate floor Thursday.

“This bill came here on Tuesday. It's 180 pages long. It involves new criminalization, new crimes that will be created at the federal level. It includes preemption of states,” the former presidential candidate added.

This undoubtedly comes as a surprise to Rand's Senate colleagues because the Senate first considered this legislation several months ago and the final version of the bill was published last week, not Tuesday. Moreover, the bulk of the legislation has already been on the books for 40 years.

Because Rand son of Ron has decided to halt the unanimous passage of the bill, and because Congress is leaving town for recess, the bill may not be sent to the president's desk for several more weeks.

The bill will pass, just not today. Rand Paul's vanity is evidently more important.

  • muselet

    Okay, Rand Paul just bought himself two weeks in which to read the bill. Cynic that I am, I don’t think he’ll spend his time reading the thing.


    • D_C_Wilson

      How long does it take him to read 180 pages? That’s like a novella. He should be able to get through it in a couple of hours, max.

      • muselet

        Of course you’re right.

        However, none of this is about the bill. Not about its length, not about its merits. This is all about Rand Paul attracting attention, sort of like a six-year-old (“Look at meeee!”).

        With apologies to six-year-olds.


        • D_C_Wilson

          I think the length of the bill is important to him. Faux libertarians like Paul love to cite the length of bills in order to play the “Omg! Look how massive this overburdensome federal legislation is” card. As if you can regulate the disposal of hazardous materials in any meaningful manner using a postcard.

          • muselet

            Point taken. It’s why the Rs threw a wobbly over the massive! 2500-page! Affordable Care Act (carefully not mentioning the pages were triple-spaced with 2-inch margins all round).

            It just seems slightly … over-dramatic to moan about a bill that runs to 180 pages. Triple spaced. With 2-inch margins all round.


  • Christopher Foxx

    The fact that a single Senator can stop a bill from progressing is just one of the serious things wrong with how Congress operates.