Rand Paul Pushes Drastic Budget Cuts

The Tea Party superstar's proposals include a 10 percent pay cut for federal workers.

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BY Richard Sisk

WASHINGTON - Tea Party superstar Rand Paul bucked the GOP leadership on Sunday by pushing drastic budget-cutting proposals, including a 10 percent pay slash for federal workers.

Paul, the Republican senator-elect from Kentucky, said on ABC's "This Week" that Social Security, Medicare and defense should also be "on the table."

"You have to look at entitlements," he said.

Paul's specifics on cuts contrasted with the generalities offered by the current and incoming GOP leadership in the House and Senate, indicating that Republicans could be battling each other as much as the Democrats in the new Congress.

[Read more about the deficit and national debt.]

Another Tea Party fave, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), said, "We're not talking about cuts in Social Security."

Republicans were determined to balance the budget, DeMint said on NBC's "Meet The Press," but "without cutting any benefits to seniors or veterans."

The self-described "Young Guns" of the new GOP House leadership also were vague on cuts - while lining up to go after President Obama's healthcare plan.

"First and foremost, we're not going to be willing to work with him [Obama] on the expansive liberal agenda he's been about," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was set to become the new House minority leader, told "Fox News Sunday."

[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who will take over leadership of the House budget committee, said the GOP will tackle Obamacare through oversight hearings and attempts to defund it.

But he acknowledged that Obama's veto would likely derail that strategy.

"You can't fully repeal and replace this law until you have a new President and a better Senate," Ryan said.