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Why Rand Paul Bolted From a Homeland Security Committee Meeting

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

It was a warranted action. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is trying to bring a sense of normalcy and rationale back into the system that supports our first responders. The Kentucky Republican saw what was happening, describing it as a “legislative prank,” and wouldn’t stay for the show.

Paul’s abrupt exit occurred during a Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting, where it discussed legislation that would bolster fire departments in the country. Paul wanted to ensure that no funds would be allocated to fire departments that terminated workers for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), the committee chair, decided to deploy legislative maneuvers that all but neutralized Paul’s proposed amendments. That’s why Paul chose to go (via The Blaze): 

The Senate Homeland Security Committee was meeting for committee markup on the Fire Grants and Safety Act, a bill that would provide increased federal support for fire departments. But the meeting became tense when Chairman Gary Peters (D) used procedural tactics against Paul and the amendments he had introduced. 

One of those amendments would make fire departments ineligible for federal money if they terminated employees for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. They would become eligible, however, if they reinstated such individuals and awarded them back pay. 

But Peters essentially canceled the effect of Paul's amendment "by substituting language requiring the comptroller general of the United States to conduct an audit and report on barriers that prevent fire departments from accessing funds," The Hill reported. 

That was the final straw for Paul. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) intervened by encouraging the lawmakers to cool their tempers, but Paul made clear that Peters was leading unfairly. 

Good for Paul for not sitting around, and wasting time on these gimmicks.

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