By: Juliegrace Brufke
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 the United States should prioritize addressing domestic crises — including response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and the damage expected to be caused by Hurricane Irma — 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,” he 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 has 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 Hurricane Irma preparation or additional funding for Harvey recovery. ”
Paul’s office noted the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) latest information shows there is currently roughly $20 billion in unobligated foreign aid 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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