Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and perhaps just in time. US senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been calling for an end to foreign aid to Egypt and Syria for quite some time. Just recently the Senate voted 86-13 against Paul’s most recent attempt to end aid to Egypt. Graham and McCain both voting against Paul. “It would be a terrific mistake for the United States to send a message to Egypt: you’re on your own,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “I urge my colleagues to vote to table the Paul amendment.”
In response to the Senate voting against his amendment Paul said, “This is something that those who voted in Congress are going to have to live with. The question is: How does their conscience feel now as they see photographs of tanks rolling over Egyptian civilians?”
Due to more than 650 deaths in Egypt over the past few days, Obama recently canceled a joint military exercise and delayed sending new military equipment to Egypt. Finally, it seems that the two senior senators have had a recent change of heart just days after voting against Paul’s efforts to end aid to Egypt.
In a joint statement, senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) now “standing with Rand” by calling for an end to foreign aid in Egypt:
“The interim civilian government and security forces – backed up, unfortunately, by the military – are taking Egypt down a dark path, one that the United States cannot and should not travel with them.”
McCain and Graham continue,
“We cannot be complicit in the mass slaughter of civilians. We urge the Obama Administration to suspend U.S. assistance to Egypt and make clear to the current leadership of the country what steps we believe are necessary to halt Egypt’s descent into civil conflict and ultimately to restore our assistance relationship, which has historically served U.S. national security interests.”
It is not immediately clear how far McCain and Graham are willing to go in order to end aid to Egypt. However, should Paul bring his amendment back for a similar vote, he may for the first time have McCain and Graham on his side.