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. Bill from GA

    Rand Paul makes his dad look sane.

    June 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Why, of course the connection between Flood insurance and abortion is obvious! Can't the rest of the population see what Senator Aqua-Budda sees? He's superhuman, you know.

    June 27, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Observer

    A mad man SEnator Paul is. What is the obsession with control of women's bodies that these Republican have. I just don't get it. Flood insurance being held up by this? Seriously, it is sad....... Just really sad. Vote them out!

    June 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Darlene

    I am from Kentucky and this man is NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    "Jobs, jobs, jobs."–Mitch McConnell & John Boehner, upon the Repub. victories in 2010.

    June 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Thomas

    "I don't understand what this is all about," Reid said. It's about the right-wing, extremist, teapublicans trying to force their narrow-minded views on everyone. They make the Taliban look like moderates.

    June 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. SafeJourney

    Rand paul is an ignorant fool repub. What does abortion have to do with a flood bill.

    June 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. LeeCMH

    Here come the hateful Christians. Christians spew venom and hate. They also lie about who they really are. Rand for example ran on lowering taxes and now is fighting the Christian culture war. Ralph Reed called it "stealth candidacy."

    June 27, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. The Film Professor

    Please enlighten us, you fans of the GOP. Surely even the most rabid of you sees the insanity of this. The fact that Senate rules allow this nonsense is just Exhibit A of why the Senate is so dysfunctional.

    June 27, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. LeeCMH

    Rand lied about his real hateful Christian objectives. He ran on lowering taxes and now fighting the Christian culture war.

    June 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Keep Colorado Blue

    This is exactly why Republicans, as a whole, need to be voted out of office this fall.

    June 27, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    This is why nothing gets done in DC> Every bill proposed by the Grand Obstructionist Party is laded with riders – on abortion, increases in defense spending, etc... the complete opposite of what they publicly endorse.
    Then of course, it's Obama and the Dem's fault that they block legislation. Typical Repug dirty pool !
    Perhaps they should try doing the job we sent them there to do! Govern the country, not play politics !!

    June 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Larry L

    Same old crap from the Tea Party Taliban. Paul is just another useless radical working hard to destroy all progress in the Congress. This weasel actually gets less work done than his crazy father.

    June 27, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. ks chick

    I'm assuming that Paul subscribes to the "any publicity is good publicity" idea. ...or is he really this asinine?

    June 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Mr. Moderate

    Isn't this clown all about keeping government out of people's lives to the point he thought the Civil Rights law was an unnecessary intrusion? Just another hypocrite on the right.

    June 27, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. Republican fail america

    Rand need to be voted out with his other republican friends.

    June 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. MLL

    Typical Repugnant. They have abosolutely nothing to offer the country other than Gun Laws and Religous ideology.

    June 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Walsh

    Don't you find it a little ironic that the most contentious leader the Senate has had in years is trashing someone else for disrupting lesgislation. Reids answer every time something comes from the House is I will never let that come to the floor for a vote. The man has not even submitted a budget in over 1000 days which is his legal responsability. If Rand is annoying him -great I know where to send my next check.

    June 27, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Russ

    We need another amendment to this bill. One that says you have to quit your job as a Senator if you introduce and amendment to a totally non-relavant bill that is this stupid. I'm sorry all you people from Kentucky, but I have to say it, he is from Kentucky. Next thing you know he'll be attaching an amendment to say the earth is really flat and the sun revolves around him.

    June 27, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Why not Abortions and a Nuclear Proliferation Bill ?

    Rand Paul is Nut's !

    'Aqua Buddha'

    June 27, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. KC

    Typical..Blame the other party for your own parties wacko moves, Reid was going to hold a vote on the flood bill put up by Repubs and Rand screws over his own party, and you blame Reid and praise Rand, grow up.

    June 27, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. livingston

    What exactly do republicans have against a clean bill. They intentionally add garbage to bills to hold them up. Guess what guys – we are on to what you're doing. What a sorry lot of losers.

    June 27, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Ronda in Houston,TX

    This is not mistake. Rand is just doing what he is told to do by the Repubs playbook. It's written in the script by Mitch. The Repubs are doing nothing for this country but obstructing lives. They really don't care, especially Rand.

    June 27, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Aiden

    I guess they are doing the same thing Obama is doing to Arizona. Since I did not get what I want I will not do my job. Its just politics and not to be taken seriously. On a positive note divided government slows down spending as it locks everything up.

    June 27, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. James Klimaski

    Rand Paul is not annoying Sen Reid, he is annoying me and millions of Americans. He knows that as a stand alone bill, what he is presenting would never pass in the Senate. And what ihe is trying to do is force his personal religious beliefs on me and the rest of the country. Rand Paul is a flat earther. A silly little man.

    June 27, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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