Politics

Rand Paul Looks To Pay For Harvey Relief Using Cuts To Foreign Aid

GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is slated to introduce an amendment to hurricane relief legislation Wednesday, aimed at offsetting spending on recovery efforts by making cuts to foreign aid.

Paul argues that the U.S. should prioritize addressing domestic crises — including the response to Hurricane Harvey and the damage Hurricane Irma may inflict — before it provides federal funding to other countries.

“As the Senate prepares to vote on hurricane aid, I will be introducing an ‘America First’ amendment to cut wasteful spending from abroad to pay for much-needed relief here at home,” Paul said in a statement. “Moving forward, any new spending should be offset by significant reforms.”

The amendment would use funds designated for foreign aid that have not yet been spent to offset the House’s $7.85 billion Harvey relief bill. In addition to offsetting the lower chamber’s Harvey aid package, it would provide an additional $2.5 billion that could be used for Irma preparation or additional funding for Harvey recovery.

Paul’s office noted that the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) latest information shows that roughly $20 billion in unobligated foreign aid is currently available.

The Senate is expected to take up the House-passed legislation before the end of the week, where it is slated to add language increasing the debt ceiling for three months to the legislation.

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