Maybe this isn’t really important news, but I believe it bears mentioning. For several weeks, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, has threatened to filibuster 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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
You can see the roll call vote at The Ferguson Forum.