“We have the right to be angry, and when we’ve been putting our tax payer dollars in that region … then we turn on the television and see people storming our embassies and burning our flags,” Rubio said on the floor Thursday. “But while we have the right to be angry, we should remain smart in our foreign policy.”
Wednesday night, Reid announced that he and Paul came to an agreement to have a vote on Paul’s bill if he stopped holding up the continuing spending resolution, but Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump fires opening salvo in budget wars Overnight Finance: Trump budget to boost military, slash nondefense spending | Senate confirms Commerce pick | House Intel chief won't subpoena tax returns Overnight Defense: Trump proposes 3B defense budget | Defense hawks say proposal falls short | Pentagon to probe Yemen raid MORE (R-Ariz.) then objected to the idea because he disapproves of Paul’s bill.
Rubio said if and when the Senate votes on the measure later Thursday, that his colleagues should keep in mind that the three countries circumstances are different.
“Paul’s amendment would condition aid for three countries,” Rubio said. “This is complicated issue and not all of these countries are the same.”
Rubio said America should expect more from leaders in the Middle East, but that cutting off aid does not help those countries protect the American embassies there.
Paul’s original bill ended foreign aid just to Pakistan because they arrested Dr. Shakil Afridi, who aided the United States in finding and killing Osama bin Laden. But after the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Egypt and killings of Americans in Libya, Paul added them the his bill and said they’d get their aid once they “start acting like allies.”
Rubio said extremists, not the governments, executed some of the acts in the Middle East.
“We also have to accept the cold hard fact that there are extremists in that region who are never going to change their mind,” Rubio said. “They are radical Islamists, violent people, and either they win or we win and the sooner we accept that the better off we will be.
“This is not just a critical moment for American and our foreign policy, it’s a critical moment for them.”
Reid said he’s still hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that the Senate can finish up its business Thursday and adjourn until after the elections.