Politics

Sen. Rand Paul Moves to Cut Aid to Egypt, Senate Cuts it Down

| by Sarah Siskind
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Earlier today the Senate cut down Sen. Rand Paul’s ploy to cut off aid to Egypt.

Paul, R-Ky., had added an amendment to the transportation bill that allocated $1.5 billion to the repair of crumbling bridges across the United States. The funds, however, would be redirected from aid to Egypt.

In an 86-13 majority, the upper chamber voted to table the amendment. A small group of GOP supporters stood with Paul, including senators Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

After President Mohammad Morsi was ousted by the military and placed under house arrest, the White House omitted any reference to a "military coup d’état" in regard to the event. This was a strategic omission. Had the White House described the event as a coup d’état in accordance with federal law all foreign aid to Egypt would cease.

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Paul, however, insists the deposition of the president, the suspension of the constitution and the installation of a military regime all smack of a coup d’état.

“All military aid must end, that’s the law,” Paul said in defense of the amendment. “There is no presidential waiver, the law states unequivocally the aid must end. If we choose to ignore our own laws, can we with a straight face preach to the rest of the world about the rule of law?”

Yet many Republicans did not rally to his side. Sen. John McCain argued that the amendment would pose a threat to the security of Israel by decreasing American influence in Egypt.

Democrat Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez eyed the amendment as a political ploy to redirect money back home and therefore votes to Paul.

Undaunted, Paul is reportedly planning a stand-alone bill to cut aid from Egypt. However, after alienating many Republican senators, Paul might be burning more bridges than he is repairing.

Sources: Politico, Reuters