Sen. Rand Paul has made headlines recently with his blunt calls to end foreign assistance to Israel, and now his father, Rep. Ron Paul, is seeking a House vote on an amendment that would cut aid to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan, Josh Rogin is reporting.
Regardless, if Paul’s amendment gets a vote, it would be the first time the entire House would vote on whether or not to give $6 billion to these foreign governments. The vote would come in the midst of the largest American fiscal crisis in a generation, which could increase the chance that it would attract significant support.
“Borrowing money from China — or printing it out of thin air — to hand out overseas in [an] attempt to purchase friends has been a failing foreign policy, as we see most recently in Egypt where there is not even a government in place!” Paul wrote in his Dear Colleague letter. “We should seek friendly relations and trade overseas, but we cannot justify lavish gifts to foreign leaders when American taxpayers are increasingly feeling the pain of our economic crisis.”
It seems unbelievable that someone would want to end foreign aid to the Middle East at a time when we’ve just seen what a major role this money plays in influencing these countries. The financial assistance the U.S. gives to Egypt has bought us a great deal of leverage over the transition.
Paul’s proposal to cut aid is short-sighted. While the $6 billion will do little to help close the U.S. budget deficit, it will go a long way in buying the U.S. valuable influence in Middle Eastern countries.