Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of the Republican Party. A member of the Tea Party movement, he describes himself as a "constitutional conservative" and a libertarian. He is the son of Republican Congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas and had never previously held political office. Paul first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father. Rand Paul is the first United States Senator in history to serve alongside a parent in the U.S. House of Representatives. A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul has been a practicing ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since 1993, and established his own clinic in December 2007. In 1994, he founded Kentucky Taxpayers United, of which he is still the chairman. In August 2009, Paul officially announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky. Paul won the Republican Party's nomination in May 2010, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. In the General Election, Paul defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway on November 2, 2010. As a supporter of the Tea Party movement, Paul has been vocal in advocating for term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation. He has gained prominence for his independent positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.
Randal Howard Paul was born on January 7, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Carol Wells Paul and Ron Paul. Paul's father is a physician and U.S. Representative of Texas's 14th congressional district. The middle child of five, his siblings are Ronald "Ronnie" Paul Jr., Lori Paul Pyeatt, Robert Paul and Joy Paul-LeBlanc.
Paul was baptized in the Episcopal Church and became a Christian as a teenager. Despite his father's libertarian views and strong support for individual rights, the novelist Ayn Rand was not the inspiration for Paul's first name; he went by "Randy" while growing up. His wife shortened his name to "Rand". Paul attended Baylor University from fall 1981 to summer 1984. Paul was enrolled in the honors program at Baylor, and had scored approximately in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test. During Paul's time at Baylor, he was involved in the swim team and Young Conservatives of Texas and was a member of a secret organization known as the NoZe Brotherhood. Paul left Baylor early when he was accepted into the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree in 1988 and completed his residency in 1993.
As founder and chairman of the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU) since 1994, Paul regularly presents "taxpayers' friend" awards to state legislators. KTU, which regards itself as nonpartisan, but is criticized for being ideological and conservative, examines legislator records on taxation and spending to inform voters where their own lawmakers stand on the issues. Paul's editorial commentary on behalf of KTU has been published and recognized in the Kentucky Post. On December 16, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Paul spoke at Faneuil Hall in favor of small government principles, calling for what CNN termed a "modern day revolution." He continued campaigning across the country for his father in 2008, traveling as far as Montana.
Paul has authored a book entitled The Tea Party Goes to Washington, released on February 22, 2011, which defends the Tea Party movement.
Paul was sworn in on January 5, 2011 along with his father, marking the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives. He was assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees. Paul also formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus with Jim DeMint and Mike Lee as its inaugural members. Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. This proposal includes cutting the Department of Education by 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul’s proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aid would be eliminated. He later proposed a five-year budget plan that he believed would balance the budget.
August 5th, 2011