Senate rejects Paul's balanced budget plan
© Greg Nash

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly rejected Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE's (R-Ky.) plan to balance the budget by making steep cuts in spending.

Senators voted 21-76 on taking up Paul's legislation, known as the "penny plan."


The legislation would have balanced the budget in five years and cut spending by roughly $13 trillion over 10 years compared to current spending levels.

Paul used an arcane Senate rule that allowed him to force a vote on his plan because leadership has not introduced a budget.

Paul argued on Thursday that Congress had made an "unholy alliance" in which Republicans agreed to more domestic spending in order to get a boost in military funding.

"That runs into the hypocrisy we face today. I've often said that the Republican Party is an empty vessel unless we imbue it with value," he added.

But Paul faced fire from both sides.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (R-S.C.) urged senators to vote against the measure because of its impact on defense spending.

"If you're a defense hawk, you should be against this approach, because it creates the one thing we can't afford, which is unpredictability," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTo save the Postal Service, bring it online White House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Schumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' MORE (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, argued that Paul's comments were ironic given the GOP tax plan.

"Our side at least rankles when we hear these budgets that relate to deficit spending when on the tax side that doesn't seem to apply at all. I say that with due respect to my good friend, who I know is sincere in his beliefs. And he will argue with me that cutting taxes increases the economy," he added.