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Senate Votes To Continue Foreign Aid For Egypt, Libya, Pakistan

Maybe this isn’t really important news, but I believe it bears mentioning. For several weeks, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, has threatened to Foreign Aidfilibuster all Senate business, unless his bill to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan was allowed discussion and a floor vote. After the attacks on our embassies in Egypt and Libya, he added those two countries to his list of nations to which he wants to cut off foreign aid, unless certain requirements are met and followed.

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Concerning Pakistan, Senator Paul wants to continue foreign aid only if the Pakistani government releases Dr. Shakil Afridi. He is the doctor who confirmed the location of Osama bin Laden and he has been imprisoned for his actions. His imprisonment clearly shows whose side Pakistan is on in the fight against terrorism. Foreign aid to Egypt and Libya would be cut off, unless they gave us the people who were responsible for the attacks which ultimately cost four American lives.

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Obviously, these are countries who are not overly friendly to America, or our interests in the region. Why would we continue supporting them with money we are currently borrowing? I haven’t seen a good answer that supports continued foreign aid, but that didn’t seem to matter to the Senate last night. In a vote that wasn’t even close, they rejected Rand Paul’s bill, which means money we do not have will continue to flow to countries who not especially friendly to America.

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(The Daily Caller) By a vote of 81 to 10, the Senate on Saturday defeated legislation that would have suspended foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya in the wake of the violent anti-American demonstrations in those countries. All 10 supporters of the bill were Republicans.

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Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul had threatened to hold up all Senate business until the bill was considered. He succeeded in forcing a vote, but couldn’t come close to passage.

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“When nearly 80 percent of Americans believe foreign aid should be reduced – especially to countries that are not our allies – it is inconceivable why their views are ignored by so many in Congress,” Paul said in a statement. “I am far from defeated on this; I will continue to fight for this issue when Congress returns, and I will continue to call attention to the billions of American dollars – borrowed from China, among other places – being sent to governments that are not willing to respect and protect our interests overseas.”

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If you care to do the math, you will find 30 Republican Senators voted against the bill, including Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK. I haven’t heard his explanation for his vote, but it needs to be a good one. I am normally supportive of his votes, but this one, I can not understand. Several Senators did not vote, including Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK. I’m not sure how he would have voted, had he done so, but it wouldn’t have been enough to sway the vote in the right direction. That wouldn’t have happened, even if all the Republicans had voted in favor of the bill, but that shouldn’t have kept them from doing so.

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It is actions such as this that I simply do not understand. It highlights the fact that many of the problems we are facing were not caused by the Democrats or the Republicans. They were not perpetuated by either political party or political persuasion. Instead, they were, and continue to be, caused by a government that has grown well beyond its means, or its original intent and design.  Our country is in fiscal trouble and we are digging that hole deeper every day. Why should we continue sending money to nations that are not friendly to us? Tell me again how Pakistan, Egypt, or Libya have done one single thing that qualifies them to receive money from us. Money that we do not have, I might add.

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I realize we need to have a certain amount of engagement with these nations, but to continue sending them money, when they are clearly not supportive of our interests, and when we clearly can not afford it, fiscally? Well, that seems more than a little foolish to me. Personally, I hope Senator Rand Paul continues his fight against this nonsense. Maybe his brand of common sense will spread to the rest of them.

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You can see the roll call vote at The Ferguson Forum.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • I can’t tell you, Larry, how angry I am with the Republicans that voted against this bill or didn’t vote so we wouldn’t know how they really feel. Back when Ron paul was avocating that we stop all foreigh aid, I thought at the time that his position was extreme. Over the ensuing months I have come to the conclusion that Ron Paul was right. Only for extra ordinary reasons such helping a country rebuild after war or after some natural disaster should we give aid freely. There is no reason we should continue giving aid to countries that do not share our ideals. And, as for our allies, we should only loan money on good terms; nothing more! America has become a sap to the rest of the world and our politicians continue to think we can buy freindship. We can’t!

    • There are a lot of people, including some of the leading Republicans in the Senate, who disagree with the sentiment you and I have about foreign aid. Lindsey Graham has been talking about the ramifications of what would happen, were we to pull our aid from Pakistan. As far as I can tell, nothing would change. They have been no real friend to the United States and no matter how much money we send them, that isn’t likely to change. Is our government really so foolish as to believe we can buy their good will and wishes with money? I believe the entire concept of foreign aid should be revisited, without the benefit of rose-colored glasses and lofty expectations.

    • lou222

      Especially to those countries that DEMAND we send it to them. What is up with that? I know if someone did that to me personally, I would tell them to “go pound sand”, guess I am an extremist at heart. That this government does it, sends up a red flag as to what they have on us to demand anything of our country.

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  • The Republicans who voted against this bill are ridiculous.

    • It’s not something I can understand, Steven. It makes no sense to continue this aid, especially under these circumstances.

  • Dragonconservative

    If it were up to me, I would immediately cut off funding to Egypt and Pakistan, but not to Libya. Mohammed Morsi of Egypt did NOTHING to protect the consulate (or embassy, whichever it was) in Egypt from angry protesters. Pakistan has never been our friend, even when we went into Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden. But Libya’s undergone a difficult time, and the Libyan people have shown their willingness to establish order in their country by attacking the rogue militias there.

    I think it’s clear that Libya could provide a measure of stability in North Africa and the Middle East. Furthermore, their president’s orders to disband the rogue militias, while not particularly potent, signal an intent to establish order in Libya.

    So, bottom line? Cut funding to Egypt and Pakistan, but continue funding to Libya so long as they move towards order in their country.

    • Thanks for your comment, DC. I can see your point about Libya and I will concede that you may very well be right about them.

      Thanks for bringing the articles from Fox to my attention, especially the one about the backlash attack on the militia that attacked our consulate. I had missed that one and it may be worthy of its own post.

  • lou222

    The problem is, Larry, you are a rational thinking adult. There are few of us around. All we see is that we have to raise taxes and cut coverages for people that have paid into “whatever” all their lives. With this money we fund the undeserving Americans that are on the dole because they choose to be (I do not fault anyone that needs the help), and then we have all the foreign money we send. I hope none of us are naive enough to think this money is sent to “help” the citizens of those countries! Anyone? We know it is a bunch of payoffs to those that have us where they want us. We are beholding to foreign countries…that is how I sum it up. We are not doing it out of the goodness of our hearts….the American people are very generous people, but we need to take care of what is wrong here on our own soil before we become generous with the world. I would say there are a lot voted into office that don’t see it that way.

    • It just makes sense to me that we should not be helping countries that have no interest in protecting our interests and are clearly not friendly to America.

      And no, I am not naive enough to believe much, if any, of this money goes to help the actual citizens of those countries. By the time it’s funneled through the “proper channels”, there’s no telling where it lands.

      • lou222

        Exactly, and yet we keep sending it. Our money, we should have the say so, don’t you think?

  • Steve Dennis

    I honestly don’t understand this vote Larry. Why is it that we still feel it necessary to send money to countries who most likely turn around and use that money to fight us? It just doesn’t make sense at all, what are out poliicians afraid of?!

    • I wish I had a good answer to those questions, Steve. I especially do not understand Senator Coburn voting against it. Of all people, I would have thought he would have voted against it. Mainly because he is such a deficit hawk.

    • lou222

      You mean countries that hate every thing we stand for and want us dead and still we send them money? Those countries? Seems that we have a bunch of stupid people controlling the purse strings, doesn’t it? You know what I think about stupid people.

  • We will remember

    With the middle east on fire, and much of that fire aimed at us, we should immediately halt all aid. I want to thank Rand Paul for taking the initiative to be responsible for the hard-earned money of the American people. Most of these senators believe that this money, that they haphazardly throw about, belongs to them. If they felt some fiscal responsibility, we would be cutting not just foreign aid. I can understand the previous point about Libya, but we need to take a hard stand on all of this money and where it is going. Do any of us believe that weapons and armies are NOT being armed with our money and then brought against us? Time for across the board cuts — long overdue.