Ronald Ernest Paul, MD, a Republican, has represented the Fourteenth Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1984 and since 1996. (map) In 2008, Paul sought the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
Record and controversies
During the consideration of an Iraq supplemental spending bill, the House held a vote on May 10, 2007 on an alternative measure (H.R.2237), sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), which would mandate that U.S. combat troop withdrawal begin within three months, and that it be completed six months after that. Then, the bill mandated, no congressional money could be used for military operations (though there would be an allowance for certain types of special-ops activities). The alternative measure failed by a vote of 171-255 on May 10, 2007. Paul was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of the measure.
- Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (H.R.2206)
Some writers, including Ernest Partridge, have argued that a Libertarian philosophy of limited government is not compatible with environmental protection. Others, such as Sherry Wolf, have criticized Paul directly on the environment, citing concerns over his libertarianism. However, there are several libertarian organizations which assert the promotion of environmental protection and stewardship through free-market mechanisms, including Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment and Property and Environment Research Center, but they are funded by corporations and powerful right-wing foundations and organizations committed to deregulation of industry and to the privatization of public assets.
Paul's stand on the environment is well-known. He is for the dissolution of the EPA, FDA, Department of the Interior and other government agencies whose overt mission is to protect citizens and the environment. Paul has also called for the privatizing of the National Park system, believing privatized organizations would be more efficient than government-owned institutions. He also wants to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and increase the use of coal and nuclear power rather than engage in prolonged wars for oil. The League of Conservation Voters has given Paul a score of 30 out of a possible 100 based on his lifetime voting record. Republicans for Environmental Protection gave him a score of 17 out of 100 . To date he has received $34,102 from the oil and gas industry  and $122,756 from real estate developers  towards his Presidential campaign.
When asked if he thought that "climate change [is] a major problem threatening civilization" his answer was "No. I think war and financial crises and big governments marching into our homes and elimination of habeas corpus -- those are immediate threats. We're about to lose our whole country and whole republic."
Ron Paul's official Presidential website states the Paul is "a member of the Congressional Green Scissors Coalition" , when questioned on his connection to it he had no idea what the interviewer was talking about.
Some statements by Paul concerning the environment follow:
"Likewise, promoters of the 'progressive' agenda, always hostile to property rights, compete for government power through safety, health, and environmental initiatives. Both groups resort to using government power — and abuse this power — in an effort to serve their narrow interests" .
To the question "What environmental achievement are you most proud of?" Paul answered, "trying to explain to people that you don't need government expenditures and special-interest politics to promote safe, environmental types of energy. That comes about through a free-market system and a lot less government, and I think that's the most important thing I can contribute. "
To the question "Who is your environmental hero?" Paul answered, "Nobody in particular."
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
Opposition to Congressional Gold Medal
Paul has been criticized at times for his voting record, including being against all government spending not explicitly authorized by the US Constitution, including Congressional Gold Medals. He was the only dissenting vote against awarding Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa the Congressional Gold Medal; According to Texas Monthly, when criticized for voting against the medal for Parks, he challenged his colleagues to personally contribute $100 to mint the medal. No one did. At the time, Paul observed, "It's easier to be generous with other people's money."
In a speech on June 25, 2003, criticizing awarding Tony Blair a Gold Medal, Paul said, "[F]orcing the American people to pay tens of thousands of dollars to give a gold medal to a foreign leader is immoral and unconstitutional. I will continue in my uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution- a Constitution that each member of Congress swore to uphold. ... [A]t least in the past we have awarded them to great humanitarians and leaders like Mother Theresa, President Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and others. ... These awards normally go to deserving individuals, which is why I have many times offered to contribute $100 of my own money, to be matched by other members, to finance these medals." Texas Monthly awarded him the "Bum Steer" award for voting against a congressional honor for cartoonist Charles Schulz.
Support for gun owners rights
In April 2007, just days after the 'Virginia Tech Massacre' Ron Paul reaffirmed his anti-gun control stance stating, "A concealed gun carried by a responsible person -- that might have ended the problem that they had at Virginia Tech with one person being killed or two people being killed."
Abolition of the Federal Reserve Board
Ron Paul has introduced a bill known as the 'Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act' to three different Congresses. He first submitted it on March 17, 1999 as H.R. 1148 , again on July 17, 2003 as H.R. 2778, and most recently as H.R. 2755 on June 15, 2007. Paul proposed H.R. 2778 as a means of introducing "legislation to restore financial stability to America's economy by abolishing the Federal Reserve. As the current bill's predecessor, H.R. 2778 was initially referred to the Committee on Financial Services and then forwarded to its Subcommittee on Monetary Policy on August 4, 2003.
- Main article: Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act of 2007
American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007
On October 15, 2007 Ron Paul presented legislation entitled, the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 to the U.S. House of Representatives. Introduced as "a comprehensive piece of legislation to restore the American Constitution" and 'eroded liberties', the bill "seeks to restore the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers" and curtail the further abuse "of Americans by their government".
The resolution would abrogate the Military Commissions Act of 2006 re-establishing the "traditional practice that military commissions may be used to try war crimes in places of active hostility where a rapid trial is necessary to preserve evidence or prevent chaos." The legislation also stipulates "that no information shall be admitted as evidence if it is obtained from the defendant through the use of torture or coercion" and further "codifies the FISA process as the means by which foreign intelligence may be obtained."
Other measures impart to Congressional members the 'standing in court' "to challenge presidential signing statements" which convey "the president's intent to disregard certain aspects of a law passed in the U.S. Congress". The proposed act further "prohibits kidnapping and extraordinary rendition of prisoners to foreign countries on the president's unilateral determination that the suspect is an enemy combatant". It also affirms the first amendment by "clarifying that journalists are not to be prevented from publishing information received from the legislative or executive branch unless such publication would cause immediate, direct, and irreparable harm to the United States. Finally, the legislation would prohibit the use of secret evidence to designate an individual or organization with a United States presence to be a foreign terrorist or foreign terrorist organization."
- Main article: American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007
Paul was born August 20, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College (1957) and M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine (1961). He did his internship and residency training at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan from 1961 to 1962. He was a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965. He went on to complete Obstetrics and Gynecology training at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1965-1968.
Paul became a delegate to the Texas state Republican convention in 1974 and was an unsuccessful Congressional candidate the same year when he ran against Democrat Robert R. Casey. When Casey was appointed head of the Federal Maritime Commission by President Gerald Ford, a special election was held in April 1976 to replace Casey. Paul won that election but lost six months later in the general election to Democrat Robert A. Gammage. Paul turned around and defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch. Paul went on to be re-elected in 1980 and 1982. He was the first congressman to propose term limit legislation for the House of Representatives. In 1984, citing his term limits proposal, he did not seek reelection to the House, although he unsuccessfully contested the Republican primary for Senate. In 1985 he returned to medical practice as an OBGYN.
In 1996, Paul was again elected to the House as a Republican. Mainstream Republican Party figures backed the incumbent, Greg Laughlin, a Democratic representative who had switched parties in the wake of the Republican takeover of Congress. Laughlin attempted to portray Paul's views as extreme and eccentric, but Paul won the primary and went on to win the general election.
Leaders of the Texan Republican Party made similar efforts to defeat him in 1998, but Paul again won the primary and the election. The Republican congressional leadership then agreed to a compromise: Paul votes with the Republicans on procedural matters and remains nominally Republican in exchange for the committee assignments normally due according to his seniority. This is arguably similar to the deal that Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont has with the Democratic Party (though Jeffords was elected as a Republican and is now officially independent). Paul was convincingly re-elected in 2000 and 2002. He was elected unopposed in 2004 to his ninth term in the Congress.
Positions and views
Ron Paul joined the Libertarian Party as a lifetime member, though he is technically a Republican member of Congress. Paul remains on good terms with the Libertarian Party and has addressed its national convention as recently as 2004. Paul professes a limited government paleolibertarian ideology (a libertarian ideology mixed with some social conservatism).
Paul's Libertarian economic views lead him to oppose nearly all government intervention in the market. He regularly votes against almost all proposals for government spending, initiatives, or taxes, and his frequent dissents in otherwise unanimous votes, have irritated some of his Republican colleagues and have earned him the nickname "Dr. No".
He criticizes the United States' intervention in Iraq and what he charges is the use of the war on terror to curtail civil liberties. He supports the abolition of the income tax, most Cabinet departments, and the Federal Reserve, and favors the legalization of marijuana and American withdrawal from the United Nations. He also endorses a non-interventionist foreign policy and defederalization of the healthcare system, opposes the death penalty and abortion, and is strongly opposed to a military draft. He has voted against amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and also against an amendment to prohibit flag-burning. He has also broken with his party by voting against the Patriot Act in 2001 and again in 2005. Paul's campaign slogan for 2004 was "The Taxpayers' Best Friend!," and he has earned praise from the National Taxpayers Union and the National Federation of Independent Business.
His base of support has been among conservative Republicans, but after 9/11 he has gained some strong support from liberal Democrats in central Texas due to his consistent, principled opposition to the war in Iraq. As an example of this shift, the Austin Chronicle newspaper, a liberal, alternative weekly newspaper in Austin, Texas described his views as "erratic" in 2000. After 9/11, though, the Chronicle took a much more favorable view of Paul, praising him for his opposition to the war in Iraq.
According to the House Congressional Record, Paul made the following statements regarding a proposed 1997 tobacco settlement:
- "The failure of Big Tobacco to fight Government's requirement to put warning labels on cigarettes while accepting agricultural subsidies allowed the entire smoking industry to be invaded by the Federal Government. Tobacco put the welcome mat out for big Government. Now it is only a matter of time before nicotine will be declared a drug and more FDA regulation will inundate us. Unfortunately, this will only compound our many problems with nicotine."
- "Smoking should be treated no differently than compulsive eating, chocolate addiction, or driving too fast. But the way the tobacco corporate leaders are acting in cahoots with big government, you would think they are conspiring to prevent this."
- "It has been suggested by some that smoking cigarettes provides certain immunity from some diseases. I personally cannot stand smoking, and even as a child I knew it was dangerous. It was a time when parents had a lot more to do with assuming the responsibility for teaching children about all dangers--like fire, chemicals, heights, crossing highways, sharp objects, guns, and smoking."
- "Yes, the business leaders in the tobacco industry deserve sharp criticism. Once this precedent of paying medical bills is set, the manufacturers of automobiles will then be liable for all accidents even if the drivers are speeding and intoxicated. Chocolate addicts can then sue Hershey, fat people can sue cattle ranchers. The whole notion that tobacco companies should pay for tobacco-related illnesses is absurd."
On Industrial Hemp
Paul believes in the legalization of industrial hemp. Paul supported HR 3037 "to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, and for other purposes". This bill would have given the states the power to regulate farming of hemp. The measure would be a first since the national prohibition of industrial hemp farming in the United States.
Support for the gold standard
In many public speeches Paul has called for the re-introduction of the gold standard, the effect of which would require the United States Government to make large purchases of gold and to only issue currency to the extent of its ownership of gold. Ron Paul supports the gold standard because currency inflation erodes consumer purchasing power.
In 2002 he proposed legislation abolishing the Federal Reserve Board, enabling "America to return to the type of monetary system envisioned by our Nation's founders: one where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity such as gold."
Paul's personal financial disclosures reveal extensive private investments in gold and silver, through equities and warrants in companies including Newmont, IAM Gold, Barrick Gold, Golden Star Resources, Golden Cycle Gold Corp, Pan American Silver, Great Basin Gold, Eldorado Gold, Freeport McMoran Gold & Copper, Apollo Gold Corp and Placer Dome.
Money in Politics
Libertarian Party spokesman George Getz said that thousands of libertarians across the United States donate money to Ron Paul's campaign funds. Campaign disclosures reveal that 71.4% of contributions to Paul's coffers come from outside his home state of Texas. Unlike many political candidates, Paul receives the overwhelming majority of his campaign contributions (92.5% in 2004), from individuals.
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00005906&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Ron Paul
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Ron Paul from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Ron Paul from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Ron Paul from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
- House Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology -Ranking
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- House Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight
- Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
- Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Trade and Technology
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- House Committee on International Relations
- Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
- Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
- Joint Economic Committee
Coalitions and Caucuses
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional Rural Caucus
Boards and other Affiliations
- Founder, Foundation for Rational Economics and Education (FREE)
- Founder, National Endowment for Liberty (See FREE)
- Founder, Liberty Political Action Committee FEC Committee ID #: C00234641; IRS Form 990; and LibertyPAC.net
- Founder/Honorary Chairman, The Liberty Committee (Note: Ron Paul is no longer affiliated with The Liberty Committee.)
- Distinguished Counselor, Ludwig von Mises Institute
- Former Trustee, Foundation for Economic Education.
- Columnist, Lewrockwell.com 
More Background Data
District Office - Freeport:
200 West Second Street, Suite 210
Freeport, TX 77541
District Office - Galveston:
601 25th Street, Suite 216
Galveston, TX 77550
District Office - Lake Jackson:
122 West Way, Suite 301
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
District Office - Victoria:
1501 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 229
Victoria, TX 77901
101 Blossom Lake
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- North American Union
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Military and Political Dissent
- Libertarianism and the Environment
- ↑ Ernest Partridge, "Liberty for Some", The Online Gadlfy, retrieved January 15, 2008
- ↑ Sherry Wolf, "Why the Left Should Reject Ron Paul", Counterpunch, December 12, 2007
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Amanda Griscom Little, "Paul on the Record", Grist and Outside Magazine, October 16, 2007
- ↑ Ron Paul. "Does Tony Blair Deserve a Congressional Medal?" U.S. House of Representatives. June 25, 2003.
- ↑ Josh Kraushaar. "Ron Paul: More Guns Will Deter Shootings," The Politico. April 17, 2007.
- ↑ "Project Freedom page on H.R. 1148," Project Freedom.
- ↑ "GovTrack page on H.R. 2778," GovTrack.
- ↑ "GovTrack page on H.R. 2755," GovTrack.
- ↑ "Statement Introducing the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007" Ron Paul Library.
- ↑ "Ron Paul for Congress," Ron Paul for Congress.
- ↑ "Endorsements," The Austin Chronicle. November 3, 2000.
- ↑ Ron Paul. "Tobacco Settlement," The Congressional Record. October 21, 1997.
- ↑ "THOMAS page on H.R.3037," THOMAS.
- ↑ Ron Paul. "Inflation: Alive and Well," Lew Rockwell. March 4, 2004.
- ↑ Ron Paul. "A Perennial Gift From Greenspan," Lew Rockwell. March 9, 2004.
- ↑ Ron Paul. "Abolish the Federal Reserve," U.S. House of Representatives. September 10, 2002.
- ↑ "Ron Paul personal financial disclosure," Center for Responsive Politics. May 10, 2004.
- ↑ "2006 Congressional Races in Texas," Center for Responsive Politics.
- ↑ "Campaign Finance page for Ron Paul, Contributions by Geography," Center for Responsive Politics.
- ↑ "Campaign Finance page for Ron Paul," Center for Responsive Politics.
- ↑ About, Lewrockwell.com, accessed June 24, 2009.
- FreeME.tv Ron Paul Internet television station. Provides a 24/7 continuous stream in reverse chronological order of latest Ron Paul News and Entertainment. Updated multiple times per day.
- Ron Paul Library - a collection of more than 700 articles & speeches by Ron Paul
- Official website
- Congressional Campaign website
- Key People: Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee, George Washington University, updated August 28, 2007.
- Ron Paul Library, a collection of more than 700 articles & speeches by Ron Paul
- April 22, 2004, floor speech, "The Lessons of 9/11", by Ron Paul
- Unofficial, unendorsed website promoting a petition for Presidential Candidacy
- Rep. Ron Paul's Column for Antiwar.com
- Ron Paul's positions on key civil liberties issues.
- National Taxpayers Union Honors Ron Paul as one of 29 Congressman who are "Taxpayer's Friends"
- Ron Paul archives on LewRockwell.com
- Free Market News Network profile on Ron Paul
- Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database
- Compare where Ron Paul stands on the issues - whereIstand.com
- Geraldine Perry, "Defining Ourselves: The Ron Paul Phenomenon Is Not Dead! Part 2 of 4", Dissident Voice, June 8, 2009.
- Texas Observer Interview with Rep. Ron Paul An Anti-War Republican!
- Audio: A Texas Republican Comes Out Against the War in Iraq A Talk with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
- Commentary by Rep. Paul on U.S. policy in the Middle East
- Gwynne, Sam (Oct. 1, 2001). Texas Monthly.
- Bernstein, Alan (May 23, 1996). Newsletter excerpts offer ammunition to Paul's opponent; GOP hopeful quoted on race, crime. The Houston Chronicle, p. A33.
- Mary Benoit, "Anti-North American Union Resolution Introduced," The New American, October 14, 2006.
- Greg Sargent, "Four More GOPers Defect, Will Back Anti-Escalation Resolution," TPM Cafe. February 14, 2007
- Rosa Brooks, "The GOP’s Torture Enthusiasts. This Week’s Republican Debate Was a Jack Bauer Impersonation Contest," Los Angeles Times (Common Dreams), May 18, 2007.
scalation Resolution,"] TPM Cafe, February 14, 2007.
- Jonathan Weisman, "Bush losing Republicans over plan for Iraq war," Washington Post (The Seattle Times), February 15, 2007.
- David Espo, "GOP Opposition to Bush Plan Forms," Associated Press (ABC News), February 15, 2007.
- Josh Kraushaar, Politico "Ron Paul: More Guns Will Deter Shootings," Politico, April 17, 2007.
Local blogs and discussion sites
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
Congressional Fire Services Caucus, Congressional Rural Caucus
|Committees: House Committee on Financial Services, House Committee on Financial Services/Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Trade and Technology, House Committee on Financial Services/Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Foreign Affairs/Subcommittee on International Organizations Human Rights and Oversight, House Committee on Foreign Affairs/Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Joint Economic Committee|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1997
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
Former member, US House of Representatives, Date Re-elected to the House: November 5, 1996,
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: August 20, 1935