The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee blocked an effort by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to stop aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that the bill shouldn’t be rushed through with unanimous consent.
Paul tried to get consent yesterday for the Stand with Israel Act, which stops all aid while the Palestinian government includes Hamas and refuses to recognize Israel.
But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the bill should be considered first by the Foreign Relations Committee, where Paul is a member.
“This is an issue I really believe the committee itself should deal with first,” Corker said.
Propping a photo of the three slain Israeli teens — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16 — on the Senate floor, Paul resurrected his bill that was originally introduced on April 29. He unsuccessfully called for unanimous consent on the legislation on May 1.
“I don’t believe that foreign aid should go to countries that persecute Christians. I also don’t believe that foreign aid should go to countries that host terrorists within their government. I’ve had this belief for some time, but I’ve met with a great deal of resistance in the Senate,” Paul said. “…Your foreign aid, your hard-earned American tax dollars continue to flow to these countries no matter what their behavior is.”
The senator charged that “foreign aid is so entrenched in our national psyche that it goes on regardless of the behavior.”
“The Democrats came and said no. President Obama doesn’t want to give up the authority to continue sending money to these countries. Well, a week ago, we had another disaster. In Israel, three young teenagers were killed. The response of Hamas was to stand up and cheer. I can give you the direct response of Hamas — their political director said that — ‘Blessed be the hands that captured them,'” Paul said.
“They stood with glee and cheered when these three teenaged boys were killed in cold blood. These were not soldiers. These were civilians. The news reports are that Hamas has joined this unity government precisely because they are bankrupt. They want to get our money. That’s why they are joining the unity government. What is ours? Ours is a tepid please don’t behave that way. But we have no teeth. The same thing in Egypt, the same thing in Pakistan,” he continued.
“Some will argue that foreign aid is a way to project American power. Well, if it is, we ought to be projecting American values. We should project what America stands for. We shouldn’t be saying here’s some money, do with it what you will.”