Meet the Press   |  October 06, 2013

Sen. Paul says Democrats have blocked attempts to fund the government

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says "if Harry Reid had done his job" government would not be shut down.

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>>> of kentucky. senator, good morning. welcome back to "meet the press."

>> good morning. glad to be with you.

>> you have a statement on your website saying, quote, you are working tirelessly to end this government shutdown . fact of the matter, there is one way to end the shutdown right now, have speaker boehner put a clean budget resolution on the floor of the house . it would pass with republicans, it would pass with democrats. would you call on speaker boehner to do that this morning?

>> we've been putting out clean crs or continuing resolutions all week. we've been trying to fund government. we've been trying to reopen government, and at every point harry reid says, no, he doesn't want to open government .

>> you've been putting on clean crs . no strings attached?

>> well, yeah. we've been trying to fund different parts of government all week. we've passed bill after bill after bill --

>> that's a piecemeal approach, no?

>> it's the same thing. these are clean crs , meaning there's no strings attached. we've been passing nih funding, veteran funding. here's the thing that people don't realize. that's historically the way it's always been. you pass small appropriation bills so you can look at them individually. it's actually a much better way to run government, because right now you're sticking everything into one bill, and that's why the leverage of shutting the government down occurs. but if you did things appropriately and you passed appropriation bills one at a time, no one would be able to shut down government ever. so if harry reid had done his job, we wouldn't be in this position at all.

>> senator, you were one of the ones early on who said you didn't think a government shutdown was a good idea. however, when house republicans made the defunding of obama care or even the delay of obama care their sticking point at which they would shut the government down if they didn't get it, didn't they basically make this result inevitable by making that what they took a stand on?

>> well, i think you've kind of got it backwards. the house republicans said they would fund all of government, and they did. they funded all of government short of one program. so they really were never wanting to shut down government over this, they were wanting to fund government, and then have a debate --

>> they were trying to fund obama care more than 40 times. they know what the result will be. they live in the real world , too. they knew this action would lead tie shutdown, and it did.

>> well, i think that when you look at legislation, when you say the president wants 100% of obama care or he will shut down the government, that's exactly what's happened. if he doesn't get 100% of his way, his way or the highway, then they won't do any spending bills that don't include everything that he wants. that's him unwilling to negotiate, that's him being unwilling to compromise.

>> but why is it even a matter of negotiation when it's passed both houses of congress, it's been signed by the president. it's been challenged in the supreme court , it's been upheld by the supreme court . it was a central issue in the 2012 election campaign and the president won reelection. why is that a legitimate point of negotiation right now?

>> because it's congress' job to oversee spending. the power of the purse resides with congress, and they fund programs every year. so it's not their obligation once something is law to never change it. for example, in 1983 we changed social security . it had been around 50 years and the age of eligibility was 65. we changed it to 67 because social security was going bankrupt. we face some of those same problems again, and it isn't that it's set in stone that we'll never revisit medicare or social security or obama care, for that matter. so i think it's a silly argument for democrats to say, oh, the law has been passed, we can never change it.