Senate Votes on Paul Amendment to Offset Cost of Funding Package
WASHINGTON, D.C. - This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted on a series of amendments to H.R.1, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill, to fund disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Among these amendments was one introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, which would offset the cost of the funding bill by reducing foreign aid, among other programs.
The amendment, No. 3410, failed passage, 91-3.
Prior to the vote, Sen. Paul spoke on the Senate floor, urging his colleagues to pass this measure. Below is video and transcript of his floor speech.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL SPEAK ON SANDY FUNDING
TRANSCRIPT: If you take the spending for Sandy relief and spend only one year at a time and would offset that spending with spending cuts. You ask why would we want would do that? Well, if you've been watching Congress in recent years, you might understand that we're not very good with money up here.
All right, we're spending $1 trillion each year we don't have, and there's to me, absolutely no objective evidence that we're very good with money up here. So you don't want to give Congress three years' worth of spending authority on Hurricane Sandy. Why don't we do it one year at a time and make sure that there's correct oversight on this and make sure the money's not being wasted. Make sure the money's not being abused. I'll give you a couple of examples of what's in the current bill. We have money for Alaskan fisheries in the Hurricane Sandy bill. They tried earlier today to stuff money in here for a country by the name of Palau in the western part of the Pacific. I thought this was about emergency relief for Hurricane Sandy that hit the Northeast coast. What does that have to do with sending money to the far reaches of the Earth, including sending money to work on Alaskan fisheries? If you want to give money to Alaskan fisheries, have a bill on the floor about Alaskan fisheries, but don't pretend we're going to stuff it in some emergency bill for the Northeast. So what I've asked is let's just spend what you're going to spend next year. CBO says there's going to be $9 billion spent next year. That's what I allocate. And I take the $9 billion from places where we're wasting it. I think we're wasting it by sending it overseas. I'm not particularly happy about sending money to countries that are burning our flag and chanting "death to America." I think it's an outrage. The president has said we need to quit, you know, doing nation-building overseas and start doing it at home, but where are the actions that support his words? I agree completely.
We need to quit doing nation-building overseas when we're running $1 trillion deficit here, but we can't just say we're going to continue to print the money or borrow the money or simply raise taxes. There's not enough for all of this spending.
What you need to do is say some of the spending is wasteful and we shouldn't do it. I personally think we should not be sending billions of dollars to dictators who oppress their people, who burn our flag, who will not protect our embassies. I think it's an absolute mistake.
You can go through a list of 30 or 40 years of foreign aid and see dictators who have personally profited and stolen our money. We've got bridges and roads crumbling in our country. We've got infrastructure damage by Hurricane Sandy, and they simply want to print up more money and borrow it. People will stand up and say we've never offset emergency funding.
Well, maybe that's why we've got a $16 trillion deficit, because no one wants to cut any spending around here. If you want to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, do it, but do it by taking the money from someplace where we're wasting it.
What my bill says is we'll spend next year's $9 billion, which is what they've asked for for next year, we'll offset it by taking $9 billion out of the foreign aid fund. Usually when we bring this up, someone will trot down and say this affects Israel. It has nothing to do with Israel. It will not affect any money given to Israel. There will be money left in the foreign aid fund, and it's always been my purpose that we start by taking the money from countries that hate us, countries that are burning our flag. I've not seen anyone in Israel burning the American flag, but I have seen it happening in about 10 other countries that receive money, who actually receive more money than Israel.
So what I would say, let's don't trot out canards about Israel on this. Let's make it about what it is. The Mubarak family in Egypt got $60 billion, the country got $60 billion while the Mubarak family themselves stole probably half of it. They are one of the richest families in the world because they stole your money. This has happened repeatedly. It's happened throughout the African continent. It's happened around the world, that your money is sent overseas. Just in Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars, we built $6 billion worth of roads. Meanwhile, we've got problems here.
I've got two bridges in my state they don't have the money to repair because we're too busy repairing some other country's roads. There are people in this body, the majority of them here think let's keep spending this money. The majority of the American people don't think it's a good idea, and I hope they'll wake up and call their Senators and call their Congressmen and say this is absurd and it must end. This is a very simple amendment. Spend one year on the emergency funds, $9 billion, and offset it by cutting foreign aid overseas. And I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.