WASHINGTON – Tea party-backed Republican Sen. Rand Paul favors cutting U.S. aid to Israel as part of a deficit-driven effort to slash government spending by $500 billion this year, drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans who argue the U.S. must be unwavering in its support for the longtime Mideast ally.
The freshman Kentucky lawmaker unveiled his budget proposal this week that would make significant cuts in education, housing and energy while reducing money for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by $16 billion. Paul's plan also would cut some $20 billion in overseas aid, and he said he wants to eliminate the $3 billion the United States provides to Israel annually in foreign military assistance.
"The overwhelming majority of Americans agree with Senator Paul — our current fiscal crisis makes it impossible to continue the spending policies of the past," Paul spokesman Gary Howard said in a statement responding to the criticism. "We simply cannot afford to give money away, even to our allies, with so much debt mounting on a daily basis."
The latest economic forecast puts the deficit at a record $1.5 trillion.
Paul explained his position in an interview with CNN on Wednesday, saying he respects Israel as a Democratic nation but feared funding an arms race in the Mideast. His proposal drew a swift response from Republicans and Democrats.
"We share Senator Paul's commitment to restraining the growth of federal spending, but we reject his misguided proposal to end U.S. assistance to our ally Israel," said Matthew Brooks, executive director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, in a statement Thursday. The organization counts several former senior Bush administration officials on its board of directors.Answer Question
Answer by Carpy at 6:28 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Answer by UpSheRises at 6:55 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Answer by Laura2U at 7:04 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Answer by mustbeGRACE at 7:10 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Answer by stacymomof2 at 7:35 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Answer by gemgem at 7:41 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Cut back? Yes. Totally cut off? No. I think we can cut back on giving to all... Including Israel. Including the nations where we are 'propping up dictators'. Including nations where we are funding their "clinics who perform/educate/counsel on abortions', including nations who encourage and support piracy, etc.... It's time to sit down and cut back based on priority in areas that do not jeopardize world security.
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 7:52 PM on Jan. 28, 2011
Next question overall
My dad wants to make-up...but I don't think I ever want to. (Long, sorry)