Reforming our criminal justice system and increasing its focus on rehabilitation have been among my top priorities during my time in Congress. While I'm greatly encouraged by legislation such as the First Step Act passing, I will keep working for change, as you can see from my latest update below!
This week, my office released another special video looking at my efforts on this issue over the years. You can click HERE or on the image below to check it out.
Dr. Rand Paul Introduces the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act
In March 2020, Louisville resident and EMT Breonna Taylor was killed during a police raid on her home, which was conducted under the authority of a no-knock warrant.
Earlier this week, I held a call with Breonna Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, Game Changers Executive Director Christopher 2X, Luke Whitehead, and others fighting for criminal justice reform, and I reiterated my long-standing commitment to ensuring a just and fair system that respects all Americans’ rights. (You can read about this call HERE, and you can find some of my remarks from an interview on this case and surrounding issues HERE.)
After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement officials to forcibly enter a home without announcing their authority or purpose.
On Thursday, I introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act (filed in the Senate as S. 3955), a bill that would effectively end no-knock raids in the United States.
My legislation would require federal law enforcement officers to provide notice of their authority and purpose before they could execute a warrant. This would also be the case for any state or local law enforcement agency that receives Department of Justice funding.
You can read my Justice for Breonna Taylor Act HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Reintroduces the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act
On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) joined me in reintroducing the bipartisan Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (S. 3931).
The bill would establish limitations and create greater transparency on the federal transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.
It's important to note that this prohibition only applies to offensive equipment and does not prohibit the transfer of defensive equipment, such as body armor.
For years, I have fought to stop the federal militarization of local police departments, and Senator Schatz and I first introduced this reform in 2015.
I support our officers, but I do not believe it is beneficial for neighborhoods across the United States to have the same kind of military-grade weapons that are commonly used in Afghanistan.
The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act institutes key reforms while ensuring officers still have access to protective equipment so they can do their jobs as safely as possible!
You can read our bill HERE.
Dr. Rand Paul Introduces the Coronavirus Regulatory Repeal Act
Even the most ardent supporters of the heavy regulatory burdens imposed by Washington bureaucrats have come to realize that over-regulation hindered our country’s response to the pandemic.
So earlier this week, I introduced the Senate version of the Coronavirus Regulatory Repeal Act (S. 3922), which would require Congress to justify restoring regulations that were either modified or waived in response to the pandemic.
It would make sure such regulations stay modified or waived unless Congress passes a law restoring them!
What kind of regulations would Congress review?
Just a few examples include easing restrictions on how much hand sanitizer you can take through airport security, allowing the use of new technologies in telehealth and distance education, and enabling hospitals and healthcare systems to more quickly hire local, trained medical personnel.
After it is passed, the legislation would give federal agencies one month to report to Congress regarding whether regulations that have been waived or modified during the emergency should be restored, repealed, or left in effect as modified.
Federal department heads and the members of Congress that oversee their agencies would serve on “Federal Regulatory Review Commissions," which would then have another month to recommend to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader which regulations the Commission believes should be repealed, restored, or left modified.
Across Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Chip Roy (Texas) has introduced the bill in the U.S. House, where it's filed as H.R. 6691.
You can read S. 3922, the Coronavirus Regulatory Repeal Act, HERE.
As we move into the recovery phase, we have an opportunity to provide lasting relief.
I have long argued for reining in the administrative state, and common sense and simple good government demand we carefully evaluate changed or waived regulations to determine if they are necessary at all!
Dr. Rand Paul: "Trump Deserves Credit For Bringing The Troops Home"
"In 1988, a certain congressman from Texas ran for president on a platform of bringing home our troops from around the world," I wrote in my latest op-ed for The American Conservative. "Even then, more than 30 years ago, U.S. troops were in over 100 countries, and tens of thousands were still in Europe," I pointed out.
"That Texas congressman was my father, Ron Paul," I continued, "who 20 years later ran again for the presidency and was still calling 'to begin bringing American troops home from around the world—an absolute necessity if the budget is ever to be brought under control. We’re going broke and we still have 75,000 troops in Germany?'"
As President Donald Trump moves to reduce our troop levels in Germany, I applauded the decision in my op-ed and called for him to keep working to bring our soldiers home!
Though criticism of the decision from some corners in Washington is expected, "[w]ith the Cold War now 30 years moribund, the hysteria over removing troops is ludicrous," I said. "Meanwhile," I noted, "the very real threat of bankruptcy and menacing debt grows each day. Just this year, the United States will add $4 trillion to the national debt. Can the Germans afford to defend themselves? Without question. Germany actually balances its annual budget every year."
I also observed how stretching our troops around the world comes "at great expense in both lives and treasure. Often that puts our soldiers on the front lines of civil wars whose origins we barely even comprehend. The U.S. also becomes allied with governments, such as Saudi Arabia, that are barbaric, despotic, and anti-American. And yet the cycle continues because the war caucus vows to never, ever let our troops come home."
You can read the entire piece HERE!
Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a Kentucky resident and need assistance with a federal agency or with navigating the federal response and ongoing community needs related to COVID-19, please feel free to contact my Bowling Green office at 270-782-8303. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
Kentucky has also set up a COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
To help Kentuckians sort through federal agencies' pandemic response and more easily find the help they need, my office has posted a wide-ranging Coronavirus Resources page, where you'll find information including this document of federal agency actions and resources.
You can click HERE or on the banner below to check out our Coronavirus Resources page.