WATCH: Rand Paul Storms Out of Homeland Security Hearing After Accusing Dem Chair of ‘Making Up Rules’ and Blocking GOP Amendments



Senator Rand Paul walked out of a Homeland Security Committee hearing earlier this week, disgusted with Democrat Chair Gary Peters for repeatedly blocking GOP amendments during markup for the Fire Grants and Safety Act.

The controversy arose when Peters offered a ‘second-degree amendment’ that effectively undoes an amendment already put forth by Paul or his fellow Republicans.

The Kentucky senator argued he had already done so.

“If this is the way you’re going to run the committee, I would suggest that Republicans leave. I don’t see why we should stick around if you’re going to make up the rules,” Paul fumed.

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Senator Rand Paul Walks Out of Hearing, Encourages Other Republicans to Follow

At issue were the many second-degree amendments put forth by Peters to Paul’s amendments, something he claims is the first time he’s witnessed “on every one of our amendments.”

One such example was an amendment Paul introduced that would make any fire department that fired employees for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine ineligible for federal grants.

Peters countered that such an amendment would require audits and reports, wrapping such efforts in red tape. Democrats unanimously voted to approve the amendment, while Republicans all opposed it.

In another example, Paul pushed an amendment to ban funding for “gain of function” research on coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, and other laboratories.

Peters laughably countered that funding be banned “from being provided to a Chinese fire department,” something Paul aptly observed “doesn’t make any sense.”

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Kyrsten Sinema Tries to Play Peacemaker

After Paul encouraged his fellow Republicans to leave the hearing, Senator Kyrsten Sinema tried to cool things down in the room.

Sinema (I-AZ) suggested, “We all take a couple minutes, lower the temperature, just figure out the procedure.”

“There’s no need for us to turn this committee hearing into a partisan, ugly place like we’ve seen in other committees,” she added.

Paul, however, was having none of Peters’ continued efforts to actually turn the hearing into ‘a partisan, ugly place.’

“I, for one, won’t stay here and recommend that no Republican stay here if we’re going to have third-degree amendments that only the majority gets to offer,” he said.

Paul, as evidenced by the above video, did eventually walk out of the hearing.

Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and James Lankford (R-OK) remained behind and voted against Peters’s amendment, though they were eventually passed.

Following the walkout, Peters suggested he hopes the pair can work together more professionally in the future, and that Paul might actually present relevant amendments.

“I look forward to working with Sen. Paul and hopefully we can find common ground to go forward,” he said. “Some of the amendments he offered were not germane to the substance of the bill that we were dealing with.”

That’s right. The guy who amended a ban on ‘gain of function’ funding to a ban on funding to “a Chinese fire department” is criticizing the substance of Paul’s amendments.

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