Republican Sen. Rand Paul brought a stack of colorful posters as visual aids to the Senate floor Friday for a half-hour long speech lamenting “ridiculous” taxpayer-funded research at multiple federal agencies.
“I don’t think this bill makes us stronger. In fact, I think the Chinese sit back … and laugh at America thinking we’re going to be stronger by borrowing more money from China,” Paul said in opposition to the Endless Frontier Act, which would expand research at the National Science Foundation that proponents say would help the United States keep up with China.
“So I just don’t think it makes us any stronger at all. I think it makes us weaker. It would be one thing if it weren’t being so horribly wasted,” the Kentucky Republican added.
Paul, a well-documented fiscal conservative, argued that a country with a $28 trillion national debt should not spend money on the research included in this bill. He used poster boards to outline spending on research that he contends frivolous, including $357,000 to study “Cocaine and Risky Sex Habits of Quail” and $1.6 million for researching “Lizards on a Treadmill.”
Another poster had singer Dolly Parton’s face on it decrying $250,000 of taxpayer dollars to send “kids in Pakistan to Space Camp and Dollywood.” Another poster accused the National Science Foundation of spending $700,000 from an autism research grant to investigate whether astronaut Neil Armstrong used the word “a” after landing on the moon and delivering his well-known “one giant leap for mankind” quote.
Over the past few days, Paul has used his Twitter platform to further his mission of informing the public about wasteful government spending.
NSF sent $1.3 million to study making insects into animal feed. On top of that, we spent nearly $3 million to study if humans would eat insects as a means to combat climate change,” Paul tweeted. “That’s $4 million on eating insects.”
“Ever wonder why a lizard waddles when he walks?” Paul asked in another tweet. “Well for one and a half million taxpayer dollars, NSF had lizards walk on a treadmill while taking x-rays of their joints – What did they discover? That they need more taxpayer money before they could conclude any answer.”
Following Paul’s speech on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the chamber will push the final vote on the research legislation until after the Memorial Day holiday.
Author : Andrew Mark Miller
Source : Washington Examiner : ‘Lizards on a treadmill’: Rand Paul calls out wasteful research spending with colorful props on Senate floor