Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, blocked a resolution put forth by Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Sen. Mazie Hirono which would reaffirm the Senate’s support for whistleblower protections.
According to The Hill Paul additionally accused Democrats of “fake outrage,” for their resolution which “acknowledges the contributions of whistleblowers” and throws the chamber’s support behind protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.”
“The threats we have seen over the last few days are so egregious they demand bipartisan outrage from one end of this chamber to the other, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, independent, liberal, moderate or conservative,” Schumer said on the Senate floor according to The Hill. “What’s happening here is another erosion of the values of this republic for political expediency.”
Schumer added that congressmen in his chamber should “send a message today that the Senate reaffirms our long-standing tradition about defending whistleblowers.”
Paul, however, wasn’t having it and exercised the right of any senator to block the passage of a bill, indicating that he wouldn’t support it but would instead ask for his colleagues to pass whistleblower legislation that he had introduced earlier that day.
“I support whistleblowers, and I do think they have a role to play in keeping government accountable … but what we have seen over the last few years is that we have a system that we should continue to refine,” Paul said, adding that his legislation would “make clear” that President Donald Trump, and any accused, should be able to face his accuser.
“The bill I will introduce today will expand the whistleblower act [and] would be made retroactive so Edward Snowden can come home to live in his own country. All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution,” Paul said.
Paul, however, isn’t the impeachment inquiry’s only obstacle in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is putting his support behind a resolution that is expected to be introduced as the “Graham-McConnell” resolution later Thursday which is “condemning the House of Representatives closed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry,” per a release from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham’s office.
“This is a kangaroo court and it will not stand,” Graham, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said this week according to POLITICO.
“I’ve got a resolution saying if you’re going to impeach the president give him the same rights that Richard Nixon had and that Bill Clinton had…what’s going on now is disgusting.”
According to The Hill, McConnell also confirmed to reporters that he plans to back the measure, saying, “Obviously I support it.”
“Overturning the results of an American election requires the highest level of fairness and due process, as it strikes at the core of our democratic process,” McConnell wrote in a tweet earlier this month.
“So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history,” he added.
So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 8, 2019
Written by Savannah Pointer.