Flood insurance bill stalled over…abortion?
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
June 27th, 2012
04:14 PM ET
11 years ago

Flood insurance bill stalled over…abortion?

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lambasting Republican Sen. Rand Paul for injecting a last-minute debate over abortion into a bipartisan attempt to pass flood insurance legislation.

"After all the work that's been put on this bill, this is ridiculous that somebody said 'I'm not going to let this bill go forward unless I have a vote on when life begins.'" Reid said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

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On Monday, Paul introduced the amendment, which calls for defining life as beginning at conception. The bill at large would re-authorize the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal entity that offers flood insurance to more than 5 million homes.

Paul's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on why he proposed the amendment.

While the bill was set to soon pass with bipartisan approval, Reid said he will no longer allow a vote on the measure as long as the amendment stands.

"We'll either do flood insurance with amendments dealing with flood insurance-or we won't do it," Reid said. "We'll have an extension."

It's not uncommon for lawmakers to tack on non-relevant amendments to bills, but the highly-charged amendment Paul chose was one step too far, Reid said. And given that some of the bill's biggest proponents are Republicans, Paul may face pressure to back down on the amendment.

"They better work on their side of the aisle, because I'm not going to put up with that on flood insurance," Reid said.

He also pointed to a controversial amendment for the so-called highway bill in February. The provision called for a repeal of a federal mandate that required some religious institutions to cover contraception in insurance plans for employees.

After weeks of escalating debate over contraception, the Obama administration adjusted the mandate, and the Senate amendment was killed in March.

"I don't understand what this is all about," Reid said.

- CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Abortion • Harry Reid • Rand Paul • Senate
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Rammer

    How do republicans get away with nonsense. God bless America.

    June 27, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. bbrooker88

    Major reform needed on how a bill gets through congress. This story is proof of a system that welcomes hostage takers like Paul on the American people.

    June 27, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. WatchDawg

    LOL...he's starting to make his old man look sane...LOL

    June 27, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. rat pt 01

    Why does it look like most gop have a nice tan? When do they find the time between doing nothing and doing stupid stuff?

    June 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Richard

    LOL...he's starting to make his old man look sane...LOL –LOL...he's starting to make his old man look sane...LOL

    LOL...he's starting to make his old man look sane...LOL–LOL...he's starting to make his old man look sane...LOL

    June 27, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Gary

    The never ending story of abortion. Religion is worse than an addiction.

    Pass this bill.

    June 27, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Strategic Bob

    you can do nothing and/or stupid stuff in a tanning booth...

    or out of one...

    June 27, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. DJ in TX

    This one is just plain partisan, political BS. Our Congress FINALLY worked on something both sides could agree on and Senator Paul injects something he KNOWS is controversial and has nothing to with the issue. This is why Congress gets approval ratings in the law teens. This bill affects 5 million homes in America. He's telling those 5 million people they don't mean anything by injecting something he knows will stall the bill. I hope his GOP counterparts push him to back down on this issue.

    Granted, people have beliefs on when life starts, abortion, etc. That is a "moral" issue with each individual, not something the government should be doing and definitely not something that should hold a bill that has bipartisan support. If this is not obstruction, then let I don't know what is. Absolutely ridiculous.

    June 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Rani McBride

    Rand Paul is just part of the fanatical wing of the Republican Party. What do you really expect? Really? So all the people that voted for this fanatic and others can be thanked for bringing congress to a hault. Don't expect anything to get done!

    June 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Richard

    The people in his home state sure elected a prize, he might not be as kooky as his old man, but he is as slick!

    June 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. cali girl

    Wow. I wonder if Rand knows that Roe v Wade is still a legal law abiding right.
    If this stupitidy got thru it would be shot down, not legal.
    Nothing like the good old GOP keeping down any and all bills that help American People.

    June 27, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Andrew

    ridiculous that stuff like this can happen, from either party....

    June 27, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    It's Rand Paul. ::sigh::

    This guy REALLY needs to pack up and leave - he's nuts.

    June 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. WV Gleeman

    There really needs to be reform on bill amendment. Rand is a loon though and always will be. Maybe he was missing his name in the papers since it's been a while since he did something crazy enough to get in the limelight again.

    June 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. A not-so-stupid former republican

    These Tea Bagger traitors should all be tried for treason!

    June 27, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    We'll remember in November!

    June 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Chipster

    This is what happens when voters get discouraged and fail to go vote. Voters: please make the effort to vote. You may think sometimes that your vote doesn't count but, if you don't vote, it definitely will not count. Please vote for sane candidates who are capable of reaching a consensus for the good of the nation. When you don't vote, religious fanatics and extremists from both sides of the political spectrum are more likely to slip into the void. We have gridlock and this type of insanity when you don't vote. VOTE!

    People in 3rd world countries risk their lives for the opportunity to vote. Surely you can make the effort to check out the candidates and take the time to vote.

    June 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. bobden

    Why do we (our congress) allow amendments that have nothing to do with the bill that some twit wants to amend?

    June 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. California Gary

    I hope that those folks that saw fit to give the Tea Party a try now see the folly of their choices in 2010. Those folks need to go home and leave the serious governing stuff to serious people.

    June 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    Careful there rat, or Silence Dogood will accuse you of s e x i s m !

    June 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Keep voting for the teapublikkkans. Nothing is more important to them than to take over a woman's body and send us back to the middle ages again!
    A bill should not be held hostage by any one party but it seems that between the rethug provisions and the filibusters the elected officials are DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. INCLUDING JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Too bad your mother, rand, didn't think of getting rid of you when there was still a chance!!!

    June 27, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. V

    I understand, Senator Reid. It' obstructionism, plain and simple! Since the Republicans have no real plans of their own, they can only obstruct those in Congress who are trying to actually work for the American People. So sad. Too bad we can't hand out Pink Slips to these idiots who blatantly use every trick in the book to keep this Country from moving forward.

    I hope you folks in Kentucky don't get any floods anytime soon. If you do and you lose everything you've worked for your whole life, thank Mr. Paul. Perhaps next time you vote you will remember how he had you best interest at heart.

    June 27, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Rand Paul needs to back down and knock this BS off, RIGHT NOW. NEVER get in the way of, or distract the attention from your opponent when they are in the middle of a major meltdown or defeat. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR THIS!!!!

    June 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Woman In California

    The Paul's (father and son) are angry, insignificant, trouble makers and I think the majority of the American people (with the exception of the TP trash) are getting sick of them.

    June 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Joi Gibson

    What is wrong with that man, Rand Paul? Is he there to legislate or indoctrinate his social beliefs on the rest of us? That man has no shame. After what has happened here in Florida with Tropical Storm Debby, offensive does not even begin to describe this amendment. This man does not care about his responsibilities as a senator, he has one objective and that his own personal conservative agenda.


    June 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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