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Today’s Vote On Foreign Aid

Sep 22, 2012 | Blog

Senator Rubio submitted the following Statement for the Record on today’s vote to cut foreign aid: 

“In every region of the world, the United States should search for ways to use foreign aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership, and the service of our national interests and ideals.  When done effectively, in partnership with the private sector, with faith-based organizations, and our allies, foreign aid is a cost-effective way, not only to export our values and our example, but to advance our security and economic goals.

“Foreign aid is a foreign policy tool used by the United States to work with other countries.  In the case of Libya, Egypt and Pakistan, each receives significant amounts of foreign aid from the U.S. taxpayers, and U.S. citizens expect these countries to meet the conditions we set upon this aid.  In the wake of the uprisings across the Muslim world, and the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, it is imperative that the U.S. receive the full cooperation of the host nations in investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the attacks on our diplomatic missions and the deaths of four brave Americans.

“Senator Rand Paul’s legislation would affect aid for these countries by effectively eliminating it.  The American people deserve to be outraged following these attacks.  However, the situations in these three countries are very different.  In Egypt, the government has the security capabilities to protect our embassy and failed to do so.  It was unacceptable that their president didn’t immediately condemn the attacks and instead focused on a YouTube video.  

“In Libya, there was a terrorist attack on our consulate which resulted in the death of four Americans, including the ambassador.  The Libyan people rejected Islamists in their recent election, but their pro-Western Libyan government does not have the security capabilities of the Egyptians.  So far, the Libyans are trying to do the right thing by working with the U.S. to investigate these attacks and strengthen their own security capabilities.  In fact, just yesterday thousands of Libyans fed up with terrorism took matters into their own hands by seizing control of the headquarters of several militias and demanding they be disarmed. Cutting off aid to Libya, who is trying to help us, is not the answer as it would weaken their ability to help us and undermine their efforts to defeat the terrorists in their country.  It would also represent America’s stunning rejection of what is clearly the Libyan people’s will to reject extremists and terrorists trying to lead Libya back to darkness.

“With Pakistan, I believe we should condition some if not all of the aid on the release of Dr. Afridi. He has been arrested on false charges.  The time has finally come for Pakistan to decide if they are going to be a truthful ally of the U.S. 

“Sen. Paul’s legislation lumps in three different countries with three very different situations and I could not support such a measure as drafted.  Prior to the vote on this matter I urged Senator Paul to consider, at a minimum, restructuring his amendment to recognize that there are considerable differences between Libya, Egypt and Pakistan.  Since no changes were ultimately made, I opposed this measure.”