Politicians Demand Aid Reform amid Anti-U.S. Actions
On September 18, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) issued a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to pass a bill cutting all foreign aid to any country that fails to secure U.S. embassies. The letter also demands accountability from Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya for attacks on U.S. embassies in each country. “If these countries cannot secure American lives and property, our increased cost of doing so must come out of the money set aside for aid,” Paul wrote. “I vow to filibuster any legislation until the Senate addresses our vital need for foreign aid reform.” While a single senator cannot prevent the Senate from acting on a bill, Paul can insist on the maximum debate time, thus delaying work on legislation.
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) echoed Paul’s frustration while addressing the House floor September 13. “I want to know if any of [the aid] is going to Libya or Egypt,” Burton said. “Our embassies have been attacked. An ambassador has been killed … and we’re going to give them money?” No money from the proposed spending bill would go to the Libyan government, although humanitarian aid could end up in Libya. In the bill, the $1.55 billion of aid for Egypt is contingent on the administration’s certification that Egypt has met conditions demanded by Congress. However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the authority to waive congressional conditions if it would be in U.S. national security interests.