WATCH: Rand Paul walks out of Homeland Security hearing after accusing Dem chairman of ‘making rules’ and blocking GOP amendments

Sen. Rand Paul walked out of a Homeland Security Committee hearing earlier this week disgusted with Democratic Chairman Gary Peters for repeatedly blocking GOP amendments while tagging the Fire Grants and Safety Act.

Controversy erupted when Peters proposed a “second-degree amendment” that effectively reverses an amendment already proposed by Paul or his fellow Republicans.

The Kentucky senator maintained that he had already done so.

“If that’s how you’re going to run the committee, I would suggest the Republicans leave. I don’t see why we should stay if you’re going to make up the rules,” Paul fumed.

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Senator Rand Paul leaves the hearing and encourages other Republicans to follow

The problem was Peters’ numerous second-degree amendments to Paul’s amendments, which he claims is the first time he’s witnessed “every one of our amendments.”

One such example was an amendment Paul introduced that would make any fire department that fires employees for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine ineligible for federal grants.

Peters countered that such an amendment would require audits and reporting, wrapping such efforts in bureaucracy. Democrats voted unanimously to approve the amendment, while Republicans all opposed it.

In another example, Paul pushed an amendment to ban funding for coronavirus “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan, China, and other labs.

Peters countered with a laugh that the funding was prohibited “from being provided to a Chinese fire department”, which Paul aptly observed “makes no sense”.

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Kyrsten Sinema tries to play peacemaker

After Paul encouraged fellow Republicans to leave the hearing, Senator Kyrsten Sinema tried to calm things down in the room.

Sinema (I-AZ) suggested, “We all take a few minutes, lower the temperature, just find out the procedure.”

“There is no need for us to turn this committee hearing into a partisan, ugly place like we have seen in other committees,” she added.

Paul, however, had none of Peters’ ongoing efforts to turn the hearing into “a partisan, ugly place.”

“I, for one, will not stay here and I will not recommend any Republicans to stay here if we are going to have third-degree amendments that only the majority can move,” he said.

Paul, as evidenced by the video above, eventually left the hearing.

Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and James Lankford (R-OK) stayed and voted against Peters’ amendment, though it ultimately passed.

After the walkout, Peters suggested that he hoped the pair could work together more professionally in the future, and that Paul might actually come up with relevant amendments.

“I look forward to working with Senator Paul and hopefully we can find common ground moving forward,” he said. “Some of the amendments he proposed were not related to the substance of the bill we were dealing with.”

That’s right. The guy who amended the “gain of office” funding ban to a “Chinese fire department” funding ban criticizes the substance of Paul’s amendments.

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