With his presidential campaign struggling to stay relevant, Sen. Rand Paul returns to Washington this week for what could be a big gift, allowing him to notch a major legislative accomplishment and try to reignite interest in his candidacy from some of his father’s most fervent supporters.
The Senate on Tuesday will take up legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, a decades-old rallying cry for Paul, father Ron Paul, and their libertarian supporters—and one that could provide a much-needed boost to Paul’s presidential race.
The vote, the first on major legislation for 2016, comes at an important time for Paul just weeks before the early presidential contests in Iowa and New Hampshire that could make-or-break his already-faltering candidacy. Paul hasn’t seen double-digits in polling in either Iowa or New Hampshire—where his father came in second and third, respectively, in 2012—since June. And he averages 2 percent and 3.8 percent in Iowa and New Hampshire respectively, according to Real Clear Politics.
The timing, it seems, was orchestrated by Paul’s home-state colleague, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has given prime floor time to all of the Republican candidates for president, but has not been shy about his personal support for Paul’s campaign. McConnell put Paul’s audit-the-Fed bill on the calendar for January at the end of 2015, making it the first piece of major legislation that will earn a Senate vote in 2016.