We are constantly subjected to the tired bromide from GOP leaders that they can’t be expected to govern with just one-half of 1/3 of government. However, as we all understand, they might not be able to pass good legislation but they can use their power to block bad legislation. At a minimum, shouldn’t we be able to block funding for “Arab Spring governments”?
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee not only approved Obama’s request for a fund to support the Arab Spring governments, they allocated $1 billion, 30% more than the president’s request. You read that correctly. We are sending $1 billion of our money to entities such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The provision, which was part of the draft appropriations bill for State and Foreign Operations (S.3241), was approved by every member of the Committee except Ron Johnson.
Can anyone explain why Republicans would willingly support such a travesty?
Here’s a list of Republicans who supported this bill:
|Alexander, L. (Tenn.)||Blunt (Mo.)||Coats (Ind.)|
|Cochran (Miss.)||Collins (Maine) *||Graham (S.C.)|
|Hoeven (N.D.)||Hutchison (Texas) *||Kirk (Ill.) *|
|McConnell (Ky.) *||Moran, Jerry (Kan.) *||Murkowski (Alaska) *|
|Shelby (Ala.) *|
In addition to the new fund for terrorist nations, we will continue giving Egypt their $1.5 billion in annual aid. But fear not, there are strings attached. This, from CQ:
The Senate fully funds the more than $1.5 billion that the administration requested for Egypt for fiscal 2013. However, senators added a key condition on the $1.3 billion in financing for Cairo’s military: that a democratically elected government have control over the military and police budgets and that those budgets be transparent.
Egypt’s powerful military has resisted such a move since the uprising last year that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and it is unlikely to cede that power to whomever is elected president next month, particularly if the victor is military ally Ahmed Shafik.
The Senate bill also requires the Egyptian government to repeal the emergency law, a key demand of protesters. The emergency law, in force for several decades, allows the military to arrest and detain people without due process. It is set to expire at the end of the month but may well be extended.
Hmmm.. Where have we seen “democratically elected” governments in the Middle East before? Oh yes, in just about all of them in recent years. They have all had elections of some sort…and have willingly chosen Islamic radicals. So if Egypt chooses the Muslim Brotherhood to lead the government, would they still receive foreign aid? And in regard to the Emergency Law, if an Islamic government is installed, there will be no need for it anyway.
So what about the Republican-controlled House? They ought to be more prudent on this matter than Senate Republicans, right? Wrong:
The House spending bill provides full funding for Egypt and includes less onerous, though still strict, conditions. Those include having the State Department certify that the country has completed its transition to civilian government and that the leadership is “implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association and religion, and due process of law.”
And then there is the kicker:
Both bills grant the secretary of State a waiver on national security grounds.
The reality is that we’ve had restrictions on aid to many Middle Eastern entities for years, including the Palestinians; yet, the Secretary of State always waives those restrictions.
This is a sad reality. We already know that Republicans will not stand up for fiscal conservatism, but we would expect them, at a minimum, to stand for strong national security. Sending tax dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood is not exactly the most perspicacious means of improving our security.
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