Senate Tables Amendment Calling For Harvey Aid To Be Taken From Foreign Aid Fund


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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The Senate voted to table an amendment aimed at paying for Hurricane Harvey relief using cuts to foreign aid in an 87-10 vote Thursday.

The “America First” amendment — introduced by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — would have offset the House-passed $7.85 billion aid package while providing an additional $2.5 billion to be used for Harvey recovery efforts or preparation for Hurricane Irma.

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, which the senator believes would be better spent on domestic emergencies.

“There have been people who argued that our $20 trillion debt is the number one threat to our national security. So what I am asking is: Why don’t we pay for this?” Paul said on the floor ahead of the vote. “Why don’t we simply take some money that we were going to spend someone else for something not as valuable in another country and why don’t we spend it here?”

The Senate is slated to take up the lower chamber’s Harvey relief legislation, where it will attach a continuing resolution to keep the government funded and language on a raising the debt ceiling to the bill before sending it back to the House.

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Juliegrace Brufke