Fresh off a trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his mission was to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation.
Many pro-Israel groups have been wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the former U.S. representative and Republican presidential candidate, also had a frosty relationship with pro-Israel groups.
But the senator said he learned a lot from his trip and worked to solidify his relationships with the U.S. ally.
“My going over there was to cement that, not to rub salt in the wound and say, 'Oh I’m not going to give anymore money to Israel," Paul said. "Really it’s always been about foreign aid that we can’t continue to borrow from China to send anywhere really."
Paul said a bankrupt America is less of an ally to Israel. The Bowling Green Republican says it would be better for everyone if Congress slightly reduced foreign aid payments.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Monday called for a gradual reduction of American foreign aid, delivering the message in an unlikely venue — since Israel is among the top recipients of American assistance.
Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, told reporters that the U.S. can't afford to keep borrowing money and then handing it out to others, even to allies like Israel.
"It will harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process," he told the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an Israeli think tank. "I think there will be significant repercussions to running massive deficits ... you destroy your currency by spending money you don't have."
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wants to cut all U.S. foreign aid to Egypt and Libya following this week’s deadly attacks on American embassies and consulates in those countries. Sen. Paul had previously put forth legislation stripping U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan, after that country imprisoned a Pakastani doctor who helped the U.S. military locate terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.