Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is seeking an exemption to conflict-of-interest rules. Paul is an ophthalmologist and he’s been performing eye surgeries for free at his Bowling Green practice since taking office. Senate rules prohibit members from being paid for other employment, but Paul is asking his colleagues to allow him to bill patients only to cover surgery expenses such as insurance. Paul continues to perform surgeries so he can keep his skills sharp.
The House has granted such exemptions in the past, but the Senate has not. Paul tells Politico that he has obtained support for his efforts from one member of the Senate Ethics Committee, but has not yet approached the panel’s chair, California Democrat Barbara Boxer.