Senator Paul Continues Push to End Egyptian Aid
On the U.S. Senate floor today, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) vowed to continue delaying the chamber’s business unless he is granted a vote on his amendment to a highway transportation bill which strips Egypt of foreign aid for 30 days. Paul proposed the amendment in response to the investigation and indictment of Americans in Egypt working for U.S.-funded nongovernmental organizations. “We cannot continue to give aid to a country that is illegally detaining U.S. civilians,” Rand said, “Egypt must be put on notice.” In his budget for the 2013 fiscal year, U.S. President Barack Obama proposed another $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt despite the ongoing NGO crisis. Speaking to reporters yesterday, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the budget proposal “doesn’t change the fact that if we cannot resolve the current impasse, it could have implications for this relationship and for our ability to disburse this money.” The aid promised for 2012 is conditioned upon Egypt’s rulers achieving certain democratization conditions.
UPDATE: Senator Paul has a full transcript and video of his remarks on the Senate floor today available on his website.