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Rand Paul rails against 'wasteful spending' after forcing brief government shutdown

Rand Paul rails against 'wasteful spending' after forcing brief government shutdown
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulErdoğan: Turkey to announce findings of Khashoggi investigation on Tuesday Lawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death Rand Paul: Saudi explanation of Khashoggi's death 'insulting' MORE (R-Ky.) railed against what he cast as runaway government spending, days after he forced a short-lived government shutdown with a lengthy floor speech decrying the budget deficit.

Speaking to radio host John Catsimatidis on New York radio station AM 970, Paul accused lawmakers of kicking the can down the road on budget issues by repeatedly turning to continuing resolutions to keep the government running, and took aim at what he called "wasteful spending."

"I can give you a quick example of some of the stuff we spend money on," Paul said. "We spent $700,000 last year studying what Neil Armstrong said when he landed on the moon."

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"Remember, he said 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.' Well, some idiot in government took $700,000 of taxpayer money and wanted to know whether he said 'one small step for man' or 'one small step for a man.' So that's the kind of stuff your government is spending money on," he said.

Paul also took aim at the Pentagon's budget in his interview with Catsimatidis, saying he has been pushing for the Defense Department to be audited. 

"Before we give them more money, make them account for the money they're already spending," Paul said.

Paul has long been considered one of the Senate's fiercest budget hawks, and has turned his ire against his own party, at times, accusing Republicans of denouncing deficits under Democratic presidential administrations while embracing high spending under President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE.

Paul forced a brief government shutdown early Friday morning, after he delayed a vote on a sweeping spending bill with a lengthy speech on the Senate floor. That bill, which included increases in both domestic and military spending, eventually passed hours later and was signed by Trump, ending the shutdown.