The Obama Administration sits on the sidelines dumbfounded, showing not a shred of leadership. Writing in The American Conservative, W. James Antle III outlines with clarity the action that needs to be taken.
Existing federal law may force the U.S. government to do something previously proposed by Rand Paul: cut off foreign aid to Egypt.
Under Section 508, “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”
While President Obama has been careful to avoid labeling the ouster of democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a coup, the provision is not subject to presidential waiver.
Last year, Paul introduced legislation to suspend foreign aid to Egypt, Libya, and Pakistan. After the Senate overwhelmingly defeated his bill, Paul ran ads against swing-state Democratic senators who voted against it.
“While they tear down and burn the American flag in Egypt and shout ‘death to America’,” said the narrator in the spot that ran in West Virginia, “Joe Manchin votes to provide U.S. taxpayer aid to Egypt.”
Paul also tried unsuccessfully to block the sale of fighter jets and tanks to the Egyptian government. “I think it particularly unwise to send tanks and our most sophisticated fighter planes to Egypt at a time when many are saying the country may be unraveling,” he said on the Senate floor.
The Senate thought otherwise, rejecting Paul’s amendment by a vote of 79 to 19. Every vote in favor, however, came from fellow Republicans.