GOP Sen.-elect Paul: Attach spending cuts to every 'major' piece of legislation

GOP Sen.-elect Rand Paul said Monday that he wants to attach spending cuts to every major piece of legislation that comes before the Senate next year. 

Paul (Ky.) — who won his race with strong support from the Tea Party movement — said he will "pressure" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to take simple majority votes on spending cut amendments in the next Congress. 

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"I think that every piece of major legislation that goes forward from now on needs to have attached to it spending cuts," Paul said during a podcast with conservative blogger Ben Domenech. If Congress is serious about the nation's ballooning debt and deficits, Paul said, "We have to be serious and introduce spending cuts.

"That's one thing that I will do when I am there, is introduce it at every opportunity and we will have votes on it," he said. 

Many political observers have taken a keen interest in Paul to see if his priorities next year will clash with those of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who happens to be Kentucky's other senator. 

Some have suggested that new independent-minded GOP senators such as Paul and Utah's Mike Lee could cause problems for McConnell, who largely held his conference in lockstep during the 111th Congress. McConnell originally endorsed Paul's primary opponent, Trey Grayson, but he eventually presented a united front with the son of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) following his primary victory. 

Unlike GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who accused party members of "capitulation" for allowing Democrats to pass key legislation during the lame-duck session, Paul praised McConnell for leading the fight against the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which collapsed due to lack of support. 

"I'm encouraged by the stand on the omnibus bill, and I think that showed a united Republican front, essentially," Paul said.

The newly elected Kentuckian said that he wants to focus on big-picture items such as government reform and the size of government when he gets to Congress, and is unconcerned with getting his name on major pieces of legislation.

"I want to be part of the reform movement that the Tea Party is on a national stage. I'm not there and interested in passing one bill that has my name on it," he said. "I'm there and interested because I think government is broken and really needs serious reform."