The Return of Rand Paul

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UFT Staff
The Return of Rand Paul

Political observers believe [Rand] Paul and other outspoken lawmakers have a chance to have outsized impact in Congress and in the Trump administration. Relations between Congress and the White House are also more complicated than they usually are in periods of unified government. For example, a key Paul ally, former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., is Trump's budget director.

If he can get there, it would be a comeback of sorts for a senator who rode the libertarian wave to prominence. Trump's election victory was widely viewed as an end to that wave — Trump is not a civil libertarian, an entitlement reformer or a spending cutter. But Trump ran five points ahead of Paul in Kentucky where they were both on the ballot in November.

Last week and early this week, Paul began to reinsert himself by launching a public quest for the House GOP healthcare bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., dismissed that effort as a "publicity stunt," and others said it was "distraction" from the tough effort within the Republican Party to fight the law.