Rand Paul offers amendment to ban giving F-16s to Egypt
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been making a big foreign policy push lately. Paul, who is thought to be considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, went on a trip to Israel earlier this month and skewered Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) over the Obama Administration’s foreign policy during his confirmation hearing. More recently, Paul declared support for Israel if they were to come under attack from enemies in the tumultuous Middle East.
Paul is looking to make another strong statement on foreign policy by offering an amendment to ban the Obama Administration from sending F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, a country that has been a concern recently.
While presenting his amendment on the floor this morning, Paul explained that much has changed in Egypt since the so-called “Arab Spring.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tahrir square to protest a government that was instituting martial law,” explained Paul. “Ironically the current President now has instituted martial law and once again the dreaded indefinite intention is threatened to citizens in Egypt.”
Paul noted that “many see Egypt descending into chaos” and took the opportunity to point out that Obama Administration’s policy toward Egypt has been concerning since it essentially rewards bad behavior. Paul lamented, “What is President Obama’s response to this? To send them some of the most sophisticated weapons we have: F-16 fighters and Abrams tanks. I think this is particularly unwise, and this legislation will stop it.”
The security of Israel lies at the heart of Paul’s concerns, as he explained, “I am concerned that these weapons, some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world, someday may be used against Israel.”
“I’m concerned that these weapons threaten Israel’s security and that sending weapons to a country with a president who recently was seen to be chanting ‘amen’ to a cleric that was saying ‘death to Israel and death to those who support Israel,’” added Paul.
According to Paul’s staff, the Senate will vote on his amendment this afternoon at 3:30. Call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to support this amendment.
You can watch his entire floor speech below: