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Sens. Paul, Grassley Introduce Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2015

March 31, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last week introduced the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2015. This legislation will remove Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) impediments to market competition and innovation in America’s transportation fuel market. ‘The EPA’s onerous regulation of fuels is artificially limiting options for consumers and producers and preventing the adoption of new fuel options that could benefit our environment, our economy, and our energy security. Through competition and consumer choice, my bill will free fuel producers and automobile manufacturers to innovate and bring new products to market that can lower costs to consumers, increase domestic energy production, and benefit the environment.’ Sen. Paul said. ‘Consumers appreciate having choices, whether it’s at the grocery store or the fuel pump,’ Sen. Grassley said. ‘Those of us who live in biofuels-producing states like Iowa understand the appeal of cleaner, domestic, renewable fuels. The EPA should be consistent in the way it treats different fuel blends as a matter of fairness and to give consumers more options for fueling their vehicles. The EPA has never acted on its authority to grant a waiver for E15. This bill proposes a legislative fix to fill the void.’ Supporters of the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2015 include: Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy, Commonwealth Agri-Energy, and the U.S. Energy Security Council. ‘Securing parity with respect to fuel volatility regulation for E10 and E15 is critical to the expansion of E15 in the marketplace. The RFA believes EPA has the regulatory authority to do that without new legislation. But legislation compelling Agency action such as Senator Paul’s Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act underscores the need to achieve parity by any means necessary, and we applaud and support his effort. Without it, refiners will continue to deny gasoline marketers the specially tailored blendstocks they would need to sell E15 in the summer months. At the end of the day, however, the most important means of assuring fuel choice for consumers would be the successful implementation of the RFS as intended by a bipartisan Congress in 2007,’ said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association. ‘We certainly support efforts by Senator Paul and Senator Grassley to remove a major hurdle preventing consumers the opportunity to purchase higher blends such as E15. This has been a major obstacle ever since Growth Energy …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to Offset Increased OCO Funding

March 27, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Sen. Rand Paul today introduced Amendment 992 to S.Con.Res.11, the Budget Resolution. This amendment would pay for the $96 billion of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding in the budget. That funding is exempted from budget caps and slated to cover ongoing war costs and increased defense spending in the regular defense budget contrary to the 2011 Budget Control Act.

‘First and foremost, a strong national defense should always be the federal government’s main responsibility. I believe Congress can and should pay for our top priorities and not use budgeting gimmicks to evade spending limits,’ said Sen. Paul.

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sens. Paul, McConnell, Heller, and Capito Introduce Legislation to Help America’s Rural Communities

March 26, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation today to help rural communities harmed by Obama Administration policies that restrict access to rural lending opportunities. Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Rand Paul (R-KY) are original cosponsors of the Helping Expand Lending Practices in (HELP) Rural Communities Act, which would provide rural communities with better access to credit opportunities that can help grow their local economies.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 – permits certain rural lending practices in areas it deems ‘rural’ or ‘underserved.’ However, as many rural communities have noted, the current definition of rural as established by the CFPB excludes a significant number of demonstrably rural areas and neglects to provide rural communities with any input in the process. The CFPB recently put forth a proposal to revise its definition, but once again, it neglected to seek input from rural communities themselves.

The HELP Rural Communities Act would create an appeals process that would allow constituents to petition the CFPB with important local information for reconsideration of their status. This would give rural counties across the country a voice when the CFPB has incorrectly labeled them as ‘non-rural.’ The bill also takes important steps to address the challenges rural communities face by eliminating arbitrary mortgage origination requirements that will ensure that rural communities bordering urban areas are still able to access credit services that are essential to rural small businesses and farmers.

‘The HELP Rural Communities Act is a common sense piece of legislation that would help rural communities obtain their housing needs. I vehemently oppose the actions of overzealous bureaucrats who are limiting financing options in our rural communities. I am proud to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expand housing options in rural Kentucky,’ Senator Paul said.

‘Under the current, CFPB definition, counties in Kentucky, such as Bath and Trigg, have been labeled as ‘non-rural,’ and are therefore barred from certain rural lending practices that are helpful to farmers and small businesses,’ Senator McConnell said. ‘While I welcome the CFPB’s recent attempts to improve the rural definition, I remain concerned that rural communities – particularly those in Kentucky – have been left without a voice. Our legislation seeks to correct this by putting into statute a process that allows counties that have …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sens. Paul, Schatz & Reps. Brown, Ellison Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Help Expand Use of Police Body Cameras

March 26, 2015 in Politics & Elections

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown (FL-05) and Keith Ellison (MN-05) introduced the Police Creating Accountability by Making Effective Recording Available (Police CAMERA) Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation would create a pilot grant program to assist state and local law enforcement agencies with purchasing or leasing body-worn cameras. ‘Body cameras will benefit the brave men and women who serve in our police force and the people they protect,’ said Sen. Paul. ‘The use of body cameras helps officers collect and preserve evidence to solve crimes, while also decreasing the number of complaints against police. The Police CAMERA Act will help state and local police departments access this new tool, while ensuring that the privacy rights of every civilian is respected.’ ‘The relationship between our communities and the men and women who protect them is based on trust and accountability,’ said Sen. Schatz. ‘In communities like Ferguson, we have seen that public trust eroded by reports of racism and use of excessive force by police. Body-worn police cameras are already being used by some police departments and have shown to be effective in keeping our communities safe. Our legislation would help expand the responsible use of body-worn police cameras and help make sure our police officers and law enforcement agencies are more accountable to the communities they serve.’ ‘At a time when the trust between law enforcement and those they were sworn to protect has reached a critical point, the CAMERA Act gives us an opportunity to explore and learn best practices for the use of body worn cameras,’ said Rep. Brown. ‘Representing Florida, a place that has had its share of issues with transparency and police accountability, the CAMERA Act is a positive bi-partisan measure which strengthens trust between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.’

 ‘After the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Robert Saylor and Tamir Rice, a stronger bond must be forged between our communities and police forces,’ said Rep. Ellison. ‘The pilot program created by the Police CAMERA Act empowers law enforcement officials who want to do better for the people they protect and serve. Body cameras alone won’t stop the next tragedy, but we should take every common-sense step we can to increase accountability and protect both civilians and police officers.’ Police departments that have …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Joins Sean Hannity on Fox News- March 24, 2015

March 25, 2015 in Politics & Elections

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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

March 24, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today reintroduced the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act. This legislation provides state governors with the power to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species. ‘This bill will better protect endangered species by allowing a more tailored response as implemented by the states. The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act ensures that local needs will be considered in the regulation process and places the decision-making into the hands of the states by allowing them to choose whether regulation occurs on the state or federal level,’ Sen. Paul said. Click HERE to read the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act in its entirety. …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Paul Joins Megyn Kelly on Fox News- March 23, 2015

March 24, 2015 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces the Harbor Equity Act

March 23, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today reintroduced the Harbor Equity Act. This legislation modifies the existing criteria used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge small harbors. Currently, the Corps’ prioritizes dredging solely for larger harbors that see 1 million or more tons in traffic per year – often forcing small community harbors to fund their own dredging or be forced to shut down operations. The Harbor Equity Act will drop the minimum tonnage requirements and prioritize smaller harbors for dredging rather than just larger, commercial harbors. ‘The interconnectedness of the inland waterway system requires dredging of the smaller connecting harbors for an efficient transport of goods. The Corps’ current system makes dredge work for small harbors in Kentucky far from certain. Serving as the backbone for their local commerce, the closure of these harbors have significant and long-lasting impacts on the families in these communities. My bill will protect smaller ports from potentially facing shut-downs, by ensuring they are considered for the Corps’ dredging efforts,’ Sen. Paul said. Click HERE to read the Harbor Equity Act in its entirety. …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Military Sequester Flexibility Act

March 19, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today introduced S.813, the Military Sequester Flexibility Act. This legislation will provide the Secretary of Defense the authority to transfer funds within the Department of Defense (DOD) in order to mitigate the damaging effects of a sequestration of funds, if a sequestration were to transpire in 2016. ‘As a member of Congress, I believe protecting and defending our military men and women should always be our top priority. With a potential sequestration in 2016, my bill will allow the Secretary of Defense the ability to prioritize and target reductions within the DOD, and ensure equipment and readiness of our service members is preserved and maintained,’ Sen. Paul said. Click HERE to read the Military Sequester Flexibility Act in its entirety. …read more

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Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Economic Freedom Zones Act of 2015

March 18, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today reintroduced the Economic Freedom Zones Act of 2015. This legislation will establish free market enterprise zones and dramatically reduce taxes in order to help facilitate the creation of new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, enhance and renew educational opportunities and increase community involvement in bankrupt or economically distressed areas. These zones will apply to any zip code with unemployment greater than one and a half times the national average. ‘There are many communities in our country still waiting and praying for economic recovery and opportunity,’ said Sen. Paul. ‘I want to give Americans in these places the chance to succeed.’ ‘The Economic Freedom Zones Act will allow impoverished areas to remove the shackles of big government by reducing taxes, regulations, and burdensome work requirements. These zones will give parents and students the flexibility to find better schools and provide incentives for philanthropy. By taking drastic, meaningful action, we can create new jobs and finally get these communities back to work,’ Sen. Paul continued. …read more

Source: RAND PAUL