Egypt

Rand Paul Proposal to Cut Off Egypt Aid Fails

The final vote was 86-13.

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Sen. Rand Paul's legislation to cut off $1.5 billion in aid to the Egyptian regime has failed. The final vote was 86-13:

Just wait til next year!

Paul, a longtime foe of foreign aid, argued that the U.S. should not be spending money abroad when America's cities, including Detroit, are crumbling. His proposal won the vote of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and 11 others among the Senate's most conservative members, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Charles Grassley of Iowa.

Some human rights advocates have also called for a halt to aid, but none of the Senate liberals who typically back human rights causes joined Paul.

Opponents of the amendment argued that, despite the Egyptian military's bloody treatment of the Islamist opposition, ties with the military are essential for preserving U.S. strategic interests in the region and will enable U.S. officials to push Egypt's generals toward a more moderate course domestically. Opponents also emphasized that Israel strongly favors continuation of the aid to Egypt.

It's instructive to compare this to Justin Amash's effort in the House to defund the NSA's mass collection of American phone records. Amash's bill managed to appeal to both the dissident left and the dissident right, and as a result it nearly passed. Aid to foreign dictatorships is an issue that ought to bring human-rights liberals and anti-spending conservatives together, and in this case Paul offered the left a sweetener: His proposal was introduced as an amendment to a transportation spending bill, and it would have redirected the aid to repairing infrastructure at home. Nonetheless, no Democrats voted for it; and without a transpartisan alliance, the measure lost by a much larger margin than Amash's.

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  1. May eighty-six senators suffer that Bangles song stuck in their heads through eternity.

    1. Hey! I like that song! Also, Susanna Hoffs.

      1. She’s no Pat Benatar, but as far as teeny, tiny singers from the 80s go she was very cute.

        1. Just another warfare Wednesday

    2. In Your Room?

    3. Hazy Shade of Winter?

      1. Only album titles are italicized, you malcultured baboon! GET OUT!

        1. That song is also a cover of the Simon & Garfunkel original. Though as covers go it’s pretty good.

          1. Certainly better than the movie it was recorded for. [shudder]

            1. What, you don’t like it when Bret Easton Ellis books are clumsily made into mediocre films? Lighten up, Francis.

              1. SF is afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.

              2. Also starred my least favorite actress of the 80s, Jami Gertz. Just do not find her attractive at all, and she’s not much of an actor either.

                1. I think you are confusing Muffy Tepperman with Patty Greene.

              3. “Any one of you homos touches me…

                Who am I to judge”

                Pope Francis has lightened up.

        2. The, uhm, squirrels did that.

          1. Damn tree rats!

    4. “Eternal Flame”?

      1. No, that’s Hitler’s song.

    5. “Manic Monday”?

    6. “Our Lips Are Sealed” Damn, I got nothin’.

    7. The post is about Egypt. It was their most famous song. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

      1. Wait – I know the Egypt-themed song you’re talking about.

        Creeping Death:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=draPGbwdtzM

      2. King Tut?

      3. Walk Like An Egyptian?

        1. Yeah, we had a nice joke going…until someone *ruined* it!

          1. You’re welcome.

          2. You know who else tried to ruin Egypt?

            1. YAHWEH?

            2. The Ottoman Turks?

            3. Poseidon?

            4. Barack Obama?

          3. I still feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I wonder if it’s a stroke.

            1. Go get a mirror FoE, or a loved one, whichever you haven’t broken yet.

              Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one end of the face droop?

              Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

              Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

              Time: If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 911.

  2. Cut to the bone!

    1. Foreign aid is the only federal budget line item that a majority of Americans agree on cutting. So why can’t Congress cut it even for anti-American regimes? What gives?

      1. Because to the Democrats, it was Not Invented Here. Amazing in that it wouldn’t even have been a net cut, huh? But the Democrats apparently didn’t want any part of an idea from a Republican, because, what the heck, they can always come back with one of their own.

  3. you guys had SF’d your own link…thats funny.

    On Topic: I think it is becoming clear that the Rs who fall in line for neo-cons will not do so for Rand. The next cycle will be fascinating.

    1. I think one reason for the monolithic Dem opposition here is that they are scared to death of letting Rand pick up any victories, lest he become a Republican frontrunner for the ’16 race. They can point to these types of things and say: “see? Not only was he totally unacceptable to decent society (us), but even his own party rehected him!”

      1. They lose their moral high ground if they support murderdroners in chiefs over a guy who legitimately wants to scale back the US interventions across the globe. It pains them. They so desperately want to proclaim themselves morally superior when the reality is their all just a bunch of materialistic and envious haters who want nothing but to make sure no one ever has more than they do.

  4. To repeat a question I asked earlier, what exactly does a country have to do to get its US aid cut off?

    We didn’t cut off aid to Egypt while the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, and we aren’t cutting off aid when it’s back in opposition. I can understand wanting to help the military regime against the MB, and I can understand (in a weird way) wanting to support the MB, but supporting both in succession? What’s up with that?

    1. NK is working on that answer. They haven’t found it yet…

    2. I think the point is to buy off whoever happens to be in power there, thus, we aid the military, Mubarak, MB, and Steaming Pile of Donkey Shit, if they happen to be able to rile up a mob. The names may change, but they all respond to the color green.

    3. The Muslim Brotherhood was never really ‘in power,’ and the argument is that this was largely because of the aid.

    4. It would have to be the country equivalent to whatever it would take for Obama to get impeached.

    5. There was a coup d’etat by the military. Absolutely, undeniable. We have a law that suspends aid after a coup.

      That’s it. A law is being ignored, and Congress is fucking allowing that.

      1. So many other laws are being ignored, what difference at this point does it make?

        1. Indeed. And just sitting here and letting the administration do it, no possible consequences to that.

        2. Perhaps the President has just issued a waiver for that law too.

          1. As long as he keeps getting away with it, why not?

            1. We have a Congress shrinking in its ability and willingness to protect its own prerogatives for a long time now. They are nearly completely supine.

              1. The Roman Senate, though not an exact analogue to the U.S. Congress, did the same thing before it lost power forever.

                1. Dude that was in a Star Wars prequel and so totally cannot be a realistic depiction of history or future.

                  1. First, the prequels were never actually made, because of Lucas being committed to an insane asylum.

                    Second, I said “Roman.”

                    1. I thought you said Romulan. At which point I was going to rail on DB for daring to compare an inferior story driven epoch like SW with a far superior world driven epoch like ST.

                    2. OH NO YOU DI’N’T!

          2. Retroactive signing statements!

      2. That’s it. A law is being ignored, and Congress is fucking allowing that

        I’m sure Chief Justice Roberts can find some clever rhetorical flourish to allow it. Instead of being aid, it will merely become “investment”

    6. The money is danegeld to get the to place nice with Israel. When the MB was in power we wanted them to play nice with Israel. Now that the military is in power we want them to play nice with Israel.

      1. Bingo. The giant elephant in the room is that we pay Egypt off to hold to the terms of their peace treaty with Israel. If we were talking about Indonesia, that amendment would’ve passed like grease lightning.

        I hate to get all Stephen Walt, but Israel’s got a heck of a lot of pull, directly and indirectly.

      2. I get the realpolitik behind the funding, but laws either have meaning and limit government power, or we have a tyranny.

        1. I get the realpolitik behind the funding, but laws either have meaning and limit government power, or we have a tyranny.

          1. Well, I’ve kind of been of the view where the opportunity for full-blown tyranny is there, but the government hasn’t fully realized it. But maybe we’re past that point after all.

      3. As someone of Scandinavian ancestry, the term “danegeld” always made me nervous.

    7. They have to win a war against the US to get cut off. Then they just take it out in tribute.

  5. Opponents also emphasized that Israel strongly favors continuation of the aid to Egypt.

    How another country wants the US to spend its taxpayer’s money should be the deciding factor for all legislation. Maybe Israel could go halfsies with the 4 billion or whatever they get from the US.

    1. it’s $1.5B.

      1. Israel? $3B according to Wiki.

      2. I thought PS was referring to Israel so I looked it up.

        1. Damn, I need to hit refresh more often.

  6. It’s instructive to compare this to Justin Amash’s effort in the House to defund the NSA’s mass collection of American phone records.

    Okay, how exactly is it instructive?

  7. Since so much of Detroit is abandoned houses that “need” to be destroyed, why don’t we bring in the Syrian army and rebels and just let them fight it out there? Imagine the Stalingradesque battles that could be had in the Packard factory, for instance.

    We could bring a whole new and lucrative meaning to the idea of “war tourism”.

    1. Wire the whole thing with remote cameras make it kind of a Running Man / Hunger Games reality show. I would watch.

    2. Fuckin’ Pay-Per-View, and Detroit’a not bankrupt any more.

      Everyone wins!

    3. You could already have war tourism in Detroit. You don’t need a foreign army.

  8. Didn’t entirely fail. Kinda forced obama’s hand to push the “delegation” out there to sort things out.

  9. Rand Paul’s problem is that the leftists can’t bring themselves to stop wasting money. What says “waste of money” more than financial aid to Egypt?

    1. Financial aid to Somalia?

      1. But how do we send aid to a libertarian/anarchist dystopia without a central govt or ROADZ!!!1!!!

    2. 86-13. That’s bipartisan wasting of money.

  10. There was not an alliance in the Senate because the Senate Democrats fear Rand Paul and see him getting more prominent. They want to deny him any victory.

    1. The Dems? Hell, The RETHUGS are scared of him!

      1. I think bi-partisanship to derail any rise in prominence of Paul is something we will see quite a bit of in the coming months.

        1. It won’t work. The more they try to tear him down for being pro-freedom and pro-taxpayer and pro-privacy and pro-smaller government, the more prominent he is going to become.

  11. Mitch McConnell: better than expected.

    1. When I saw that I thought: someone’s running for office soon!

    2. That’s one of the best indicators of just how closely intertwined his fate has become with Paul’s. It’s pretty fascinating, honestly, considering they were major political opponents just three years ago.

  12. A key key differences:
    1) NSA is big in the news right now
    2) NSA is about privacy, foreign aid is only money
    3) Amash isn’t running for president in a couple years

    1. Another key difference:

      80 percent of Americans don’t care about the NSA.

      A majority of Americans want to cut foreign aid, the only line item a majority agrees on.

  13. Opponents also emphasized that Israel strongly favors continuation of the aid to Egypt.

    then they can pay it.

    1. Well yeah, the money to Egypt is mostly a bribe for them to maintain peace with Israel, but why that’s our problem I don’t really know.

    2. Of course Israel was in favor, they can now use the threat of F-16’s in Egypt as a reason to be given F-15’s or F-35’s. Win/Win for everyone except for the US taxpayer.

      1. Of course Israel was in favor, they can now use the threat of F-16’s in Egypt as a reason to be given F-15’s or F-35’s.

        Seems like a pretty bad deal since F-35’s are known to just fall out of the sky. Why do we hate Israel?

        1. But the F-35 has all the new ‘apps.’

        2. F-35 hadn’t crashed yet…

    3. then they can pay it.

      While I certainly agree that we shouldn’t, I can understand that Israel would be fairly stupid to pay off Egypt to not go to war with them. That would be the equivalent of paying tribute, hell extortion even, all the while being the power that would actually win if push came to shove.

  14. Some human rights advocates have also called for a halt to aid, but none of the Senate liberals who typically back human rights causes joined Paul.

    Could it be they really don’t give a damn about human rights?

    1. I think that is somewhat unfair. Supposedly even human rights activists and liberals (not used in the contemporary US sense) in Egypt were torn over what was worse, the coup or the Muslim Brotherhood in power.

      1. huh…could be MNG. Now I waver. We need a vote.

        1. I’m not sure I understand this response? The MB (Muslim Brotherhood), arguably the largest threat to liberalism in the country, were the ones installed by a vote.

        2. Not MNG. MNG would’ve ABSOLUTELY understood the response, and responded in turn with a non sequitur or weak-ass jab.

          I think it’s its own species.

        3. I don’t think it’s MNG. Doesn’t have the level of smug that MNG had, and also doesn’t seem to have MNG’s habit of making up his own definitions of terms to try to score cheap rhetorical points.

          1. I think I see now, Clich? Bandit thought I was a “MNG.” A week ago several people called me “Tony.”

            At least I’m not confused for this Palin’s Buttpl*g fellow.

            1. You would have to give yourself a frontal lobotomy and then smear dog shit in the wound to be confused for Shrike (Palin’s Buttplug).

            2. MNG was the handle of a long-time poster who was generally considered to be a troll. MNG disappeared after registration was required to post here.

              MNG stands for Mr. Nice Guy

              1. I’ve never understood why registration stopped so many trolls.

                1. I seem to remember MNG leaving because he was butthurt about us insulting Black Jesus, just like joe from lol.

            3. You have a decidedly lefty way about you, so the regulars are assuming you’re an old troll concern trolling under a new handle.

              hth

              1. Well, he could be, ATFPAPIC.

              2. I see. Like I said, at least they didn’t think I was this Palin fellow, who I think pretty obviously trolls with selective pro-Obama statements.

                They thought I was Tony which was amusing to me because in the few conversations I have had here with Tony he seems to believe in no rights at all, that rights are some kind of convenient ‘construct’ to be discarded at will. That someone thought that was me was amusing to me.

                I do lean left. I was a Democrat or liberal before I became a libertarian. I was always libertarian on social issues, but I didn’t appreciate economic liberty. In college I read Rothbard and Hayek and a libertarian friend (the same one who loaned me the books) converted me in a discussion over the minimum wage where he convinced me that the rationale behind it (we have to do this for the good of those involved or for the ‘dignity’ or ‘morals’ of society) and the response (police use of force to fine or jail) was exactly the same as conservatives use to support laws targeting voluntary exchanges in pornography, drugs, sexual acts, etc. From then on until today I use the NAP to answer any tough dilemma. I came to Reason by reference of Volokh Conspiracy, a site I rather enjoy which references Reason quite a bit.

        4. Not MNG. I really think this one likes the idea of liberty but is a-scared.

          1. I haven’t seen Bo engage in a 200+ comment exchange with John yet…

          2. Well, liberty is a scary thought for most people who grow up being force fed the myth of the benevolent, responsive state.

            1. I’m not sure what the ‘a-scared’ is about, while I think the aid might (and I stress might) have done good in supporting the military which tossed out the MB, I would have voted with Paul were a Senator. In the long run our intervention, militarily or financially, in other nation’s matters does more harm than good. It’s also barely defensible on libertarian principles to begin with.

      2. So it’s billion$ in bribes in perpetuity or else the MB will take control.

        Why build this massive surveillance and military capability if you are extorted by a bunch of mud farmers and sheep fuckers?

        1. Yep, Dane Geld.

      3. I think very few people are naive enough to think this has a happy ending. Nothing good will come from backing one group of petty tyrants over another.

        1. I’d love to see the Egyptian people free-er and happier. What I don’t think is that our intervention would promote that. In fact, historically our intervention has fostered authoritarianism. I would rather see the Muslim Brotherhood out of power than in, and if our aid to the military made that happen then perhaps it is not the worst thing in the world. But I think it was our intervening aid that helped make the Muslim Brotherhood rise to the prominence it held. From what I’ve read it was the persecution from the Mubarak regime that we sent billions in aid to that made the MB such a force.

  15. Unfortunately, aid to Egypt is about free stuff and graft for legislative districts within the US.

    My understanding of aid to egypt works like this:

    We give them $1.5 billion in credits that they use to purchase hardware from the U.S. Government, supplied by defense contractors with people wearing those Union Denim Jackets.

    So, free stuff.

    1. I have read that too. I wonder how much ‘foreign aid’ works like that. Is it counted as part of the defense budget, since it is in essence paying for the purchase of US defense contractors?

    2. It’s crazy how much people are talking about whether we should continue giving aid for practical reasons, totally ignoring the fact that it’s illegal to do at this moment. Illegal.

      1. Next you’ll be nitpicking about Congress declaring wars and such.

        1. Look, I’m flexible. The AUMF for Iraq was probably a valid declaration of war.

          Bombing Libya without anything from Congress? Nope. In fact, that alone is an impeachable offense.

      2. It’s crazy how much people are talking about whether we should continue giving aid for practical reasons, totally ignoring the fact that it’s illegal to do at this moment. Illegal.

        I believe the current language being used by the Feds vis-?-vis the NSA, is “exceeding the legal limits”.

        1. Illegal. Usually unconstitutional. Fully impeachable and possibly fully criminal.

          We need to wake the fuck up while there’s still time.

          1. I’m afraid that fuck is permanently asleep.

  16. Is there an easy link to the vote result? I’d like to know how the Jewish senators voted. (They’re all Dems in action.)

    1. Here are the votes AGAINST tabling Paul’s ammendment:

      Barrasso (R-WY)
      Coburn (R-OK)
      Crapo (R-ID)
      Cruz (R-TX)
      Enzi (R-WY)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Heller (R-NV)
      Lee (R-UT)
      McConnell (R-KY)
      Moran (R-KS)
      Paul (R-KY)
      Risch (R-ID)
      Thune (R-SD)

  17. The Foreign Assistance Act

    “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

    1. The Foreign Assistance Act is not a suicide pact!

  18. Why is this an issue “that ought to bring human-rights liberals and anti-spending conservatives together”?

    Foreign aid spending is part of a web of policy and strategy, and frankly, Rand sounds like an idiot when he rails against all foreign aid.

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