Senator Rand Paul submitted an amendment to the Transportation and HUD appropriation bill that has nothing to do with transportation or housing (sorry, no permanent link is available). It was just tabled. It won the support of a mere 13 senators, including Sen. Paul. See if you can figure out why it had so little support.
SA 1739. Mr. PAUL submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 1243, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
At the end of title I, insert the following:
Sec. __XXX. (a) Congress makes the following findings:
(1) On June 30, 2012, Mohamed Morsi was elected President of Egypt in elections that were certified as free and fair by the Egyptian Presidential Election Commission and the United Nations.
(2) On July 3, 2013, the military of Egypt removed the democratically elected President of Egypt, arrested his supporters, and suspended the Constitution of Egypt. These actions fit the definition of a military coup d’état.
(3) Pursuant to section 7008 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act, 2012 (division I of Public Law 112-74; 125 Stat. 1195), the United States is legally prohibited from providing foreign assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup d’état, or removed in such a way that the military plays a decisive role.
(4) The United States has suspended aid to countries that have undergone military coups d’état in the past, including the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, Thailand, Mali, Fiji, and Honduras.
(b)(1) In accordance with section 7008 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act, 2012 (division I of Public Law 112-74; 125 Stat. 1195), the United States Government, including the Department of State, shall refrain from providing to the Government of Egypt the assistance restricted under such section.
(2) In addition to the restrictions referred to in paragraph (1), the following restrictions shall be in effect with respect to United States assistance to the Government of Egypt:
(A) Deliveries of defense articles currently slated for transfer to Egyptian Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry of Interior (MOI) shall be suspended until the President certifies to Congress that democratic national elections have taken place in Egypt followed by a peaceful transfer of power.
(B) Provision of defense services to Egyptian MOD and MOI shall be halted immediately until the President certifies to Congress that democratic national elections have taken place in Egypt followed by a peaceful transfer of power.
(C) Processing of draft Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) for future arms sales to Egyptian MOD and MOI entities shall be halted until the President certifies to Congress that democratic national elections have taken place in Egypt followed by a peaceful transfer of power.
(D) All costs associated with the delays in deliveries and provision of services required under subparagraphs (A) through (C) shall be borne by the Government of Egypt.
(c) Any amounts retained by the United States as a result of implementing subsection (b) shall be made available to the Secretary of Transportation to carry out activities under the heading “BRIDGES IN CRITICAL CORRIDORS”.
I like how he made it germane by taking any potential savings and repurposing it to build bridges in critical corridors. How progressive of him. Very cute.
Under the letter of the law, Egypt should have its aid suspended if it is determined that a coup d’etat took place there. It’s a noble and, yet, stupid law. Aid to Egypt is part of the Camp David Accords, and if we expect Egypt to stay at peace with Israel, then we need to keep our end of the bargain. Our relationship with Egypt is controversial, as it should be, but it is also one of our most important relationships. And our policy should not be set by some catch-all pro-democracy statute, let alone by the nutcase junior senator from Kentucky. And it certainly shouldn’t be determined by language in a bill to fund the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
The way the Obama administration is getting around the law is by refusing to define what happened in Egypt as a coup d’etat. It’s an inelegant solution to a stupid problem. But it’s a solution.
Secretary of State Kerry is trying to kickstart new peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which, if successful, would be in our national interests. Fucking with our aid package to Egypt in this context would be sub-mental. But sub-mental is what Rand Paul does for a living.