Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wants to funnel the $8.3 billion that will be spent to combat the coronavirus out of the money spent on foreign aid.
After passing through both chambers of Congress, President Trump signed legislation that makes $8.3 billion in emergency funding available to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Paul, who was the only senator to vote against the spending package, views the funding as necessary to address the spreading illness, but he did not want to take out the taxpayers’ checkbook without saving money elsewhere.
“I support the money,” Paul told WDRB. “I just think we should take it from somewhere else in the budget where it’s not being used wisely. So I had an amendment that would have said the $8 billion should come from foreign welfare that we send to foreign countries in the form of foreign aid. I think really we ought to concentrate on our country.”
He added, “I think really we ought to concentrate on our country, instead of borrowing more money from China. The virus came from there. Now we’re borrowing from China to spend on it. Why don’t we take it from the money we’re actually sending overseas and spend that money here?”
As Paul noted, the coronavirus outbreak has been traced back to Wuhan, China. Since the outbreak began late last year, more than 116,000 people have been infected worldwide, and more than 4,000 have died. In the United States, 27 people have died, and more than 750 have been infected.
Paul voted against the emergency funding last week, citing how the package did not include spending cuts to counter the money spent on fighting the coronavirus. He argued that even more money could have been allocated to stop the disease, but that he could not support a funding package that did not have an adjacent spending cut.
“I think we could allocate more money, but we should pay for it,” Paul said. “If you don’t follow through and you say, well, we should pay for it, but I’ll vote for it anyway, then that just gives them license to do it again and again and again. And that’s what happens.”
The U.S. spent nearly $40 billion on foreign aid in 2019, which was less than 1% of the federal budget. In 2017, China received more than $53 million in foreign aid from the U.S. The countries receiving the most foreign aid from the U.S. are Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel.
Author: Madison Dibble
Source: Washington Examiner: Rand Paul: $8.3B in emergency funds to fight coronavirus should come from ‘foreign welfare’