A fired-up Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday he voted against the massive $1.1 trillion spending bill because not only was it rushed through Congress -- but no one had a chance to read it.
“It was over a trillion dollars, it was all lumped together, 2,242 pages, nobody read it, so frankly my biggest complaint is that I have no idea what kind of things they stuck in that bill in the middle of the night,” Paul, R-Ky., said on “The Cats Roundtable,” a New York-based radio talk show.
“I voted against it because I won’t vote for these enormous bills that no one has a chance to read,” the GOP White House hopeful said.
On Friday, President Obama signed the legislation into law. The final version pairs two gigantic bills: a $1.14 trillion government spending measure that will fund every Cabinet agency through September 2016, as well as a $680 billion tax package which extends dozens of breaks and making some permanent.
Republicans and Democrats joined to approve the spending bill on a resounding 316-113 vote in the House, a day after passing the tax bill. The unexpectedly large margin was a victory for new House Speaker Paul Ryan, who saw a majority of his GOP lawmakers back the legislation.
Not long after, the Senate voted 65-33 to send the entire package to Obama's desk.
Paul said Sunday passing such large spending measures without thorough examination is “part of the reason why government is broke.”
He said the blame fell on every lawmaker’s shoulder.
“Once again this came not at the behest of just the Democrats,” he said on AM-970. “It came at the behest of right-wing Republicans who want military spending and left-wing Democrats who want welfare spending, and that’s the first little secret.”
Paul also called out specific spending habits of both parties.
“You have people on the right who want unlimited military spending and then you’ve got people on the left who want unlimited welfare spending and the dirty little secret in Washington is that they come together… there’s an unholy alliance and in that unholy alliance everybody gets money and the taxpayer gets stuck with the bill,” he said.
If he were president, Paul said he would keep “government so small you can barely see it.”
Ryan on Sunday dismissed criticism of the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed Friday, saying that Republican leaders fought hard for compromise.
“Let me first say, this is a divided government and in divided government you don’t get everything you want,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We advanced our priorities and principles. Not every one of them, but many of them. And then we’re going to pick up next year where we left off and keep going for more.”
Ryan, who acknowledged that both Democrats and Republicans employ divisive political tactics, said the cycle could be broken by “offering a vision, by offering solutions and focusing on what they do to make people’s lives better. And to appeal to what unified us as a country, as a people.”
Ryan also criticized GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for a short-term ban on Muslim immigration and said he trusted Republican voters “to pick a nominee that can take us all the way to win the White House so we can fix this country.”