Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will oppose the Republican budget resolution designed to begin the process of unwinding the Affordable Care Act, making him possibly the only member of the majority to break ranks.
In a speech scheduled for later Wednesday, he will criticize the resolution for assuming $9 trillion in additional debt over the next 10 years. Paul, who has introduced his own balanced budgets since entering Congress in 2011 — with little support — favors the simultaneous repeal of the ACA and passage of a replacement bill, without adding to the debt.
Paul, who was reelected last year, expects to cast the only “no” vote in his conference. In a letter to leadership, released Tuesday, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in pledging their support for the new budget resolution, with the caveat that they do not endorse its spending outlays.
“Our votes in favor of the ‘Obamacare Repeal Resolution’ do not indicate in any way our support for the revenue, spending, and deficit numbers therein,” they write, “nor for the use of those numbers as the basis for future federal budgets.”
There are 52 Republican senators in the 115th Congress, meaning that Paul’s vote, on its own, cannot stop the passage of the budget resolution.