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Topics in the News: Foreign Aid


Rand Paul on Budget & Economy : Aug 6, 2015
Borrowing a million a minute has gotta stop somewhere

I'm the only one on the stage who actually has a five-year budget that balances. I've put pencil to paper and I've said I would cut spending, and I've said exactly where. Each one of my budgets has taken a meat axe to foreign aid. We shouldn't borrow money from China to send it anywhere. Out of your surplus, you can help your allies, but we cannot give away money we don't have. We do not project power from bankruptcy court. We're borrowing a million dollars a minute. It's got to stop somewhere.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Aug 6, 2015
Quit sending aid to countries who hate us

Q: The first budget your proposed as senator cut all financial aid to Israel. You have since changed your view on that issue. What made you change your mind?

PAUL: I've said I would cut spending, and I've said exactly where. Each one of my budgets has taken a meat axe to foreign aid, because I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that hate us. I think we ought to quit sending it to countries that burn our flag. Israel is not one of those. But even Benjamin Netanyahu said that ultimately, they will be stronger when they're independent. My position is exactly the same. We shouldn't borrow money from China to send it anywhere, but why don't we start with eliminating aid to our enemies.

Q: OK, but you still say that Israel could be one of the countries that is cut from financial aid?

PAUL: Out of your surplus, you can help your allies, and Israel is a great ally. And this is no particular animus of Israel, but we cannot give away money we don't have.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Apr 7, 2015
2011: eliminate all foreign aid & rebuild America instead

Rand Paul's campaign strategy is to eliminate the widespread suspicion that Paul is an isolationist echo of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian icon who frequently inveighed against US intervention overseas. Paul may lose support from some libertarians who supported his father's past campaigns; the goal, though, is to get enough support from enough slices of various constituencies--libertarians who are willing to compromise, conservatives who are tired of war, & maybe even some Democrats-- to help power him through the race.

Early in his Senate career, Paul was clearly influenced by his father's views. In 2011, he proposed eliminating all foreign aid, including to Israel, insisting: "I just don't think you can give other people's money away when we can't rebuild bridges in our country." As he seeks the presidency, facing a wide and varied GOP field that includes candidates with far more hawkish views, Paul has backed off on his past support for ending U.S. aid to Israel

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Politico.com 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Homeland Security : Mar 27, 2015
$76B in defense spending via cuts to EPA, HUD & foreign aid

Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending. Paul introduced a budget amendment calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years--a roughly 16% increase. Paul's amendment brings him in line with his likely presidential primary rivals.

The move completes a stunning reversal for Paul, who in May 2011, released his own budget that would have slashed the Pentagon, a sacred cow for many Republicans. Under Paul's original proposal, defense spending would have dropped from $553 billion in 2011 to $542 billion in 2016. But under Paul's new plan, the Pentagon will see its budget authority swell by $76 billion to $696 billion in fiscal year 2016. The boost would be offset by a $106 billion cut to funding for aid to foreign governments, climate change research and reductions to the budgets of the EPA, HUD, and the departments of Commerce and Education.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Time magazine 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Lindsey Graham on Foreign Policy : Dec 21, 2014
Cuba is still a security threat to America; no aid

Q: What about restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba?

GRAHAM: When it comes to funding any proposed embassy in Cuba, I'm in charge of all foreign aid; will do everything I can to limit to size and scope of this embassy, because you are rewarding people who kidnap Americans and who really are still communists in every way.

Q: Do you think that Cuba at this point in time represents a security threat to America?

GRAHAM: Last year, the Cubans were shipping arms to North Korea in violation of the embargo. Yes. Cuba to me represents everything that threatens us. Are we safe when somebody right off our shores practices totalitarian communism in our backyard? They were actively trying to send weapons to North Korea a year ago. Should we be worried about North Korea? Yes. Should we be worried about Cuba? Yes. And Iran is watching. I can only imagine what the ayatollahs in Iran must be saying when our president reaches out to a communist dictatorship that has done nothing to change.

Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: Face the Nation 2014 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : May 24, 2014
Eventually end all foreign aid, but unrealistic for now

The issue of aid to Israel also came up last year in a meeting with the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Members pressed the senator, and he conceded that while he would eventually like to terminate all foreign aid, he knew that would not be realistic now. "You could see he was a work in progress," said a member of the Jewish coalition's board. "He's thinking about these issues; he's trying to learn."

Part of Paul's strategy is to appear before audiences that are not necessarily friendly to him, such as the Heritage Foundation, where he left the impression that he knew he must evolve.

Some observers say this is the evolution of a savvy politician with presidential ambitions. Paul says it is more like a slow reveal. "I've been expressing gradually where my foreign policy is," he said. "Foreign policy isn't set in stone. It isn't either-or. And it isn't always right or wrong."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: NY Times 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Mar 14, 2013
End US aid to countries that burn our flag

Sen. Paul told conservatives gathered at CPAC that ending foreign aid to nations like Egypt rather than stopping school children from touring the White House is a better way to cut federal spending: "I say not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag," Paul said, as the crowd rose to its feet and cheered. He chided the president for halting the tours as a way to deal with the across-the-board federal budget cuts required by the Budget Control Act, or sequester, which was proposed and signed into law by the president.

"The president's He's trying to do his fair share," Paul said. "But within a few days, the president finds an extra $250 million dollars to send to Egypt." Paul was referring to money appropriated by Congress to help the new government in Egypt where protests against the US have included burning the America flag, and "where mobs attacked out embassy and chanted 'Death to America,' [but Obama] found an extra $250 million to reward them," Paul said.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: CNSnews.com on 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Mitt Romney on War & Peace : Oct 22, 2012
Coordinated investment in Middle East to shift from jihad

The right course for us is to make sure that we go after the jihadists, but also help the Muslim world. And how we do that? A group of Arab scholars came together to look at how we can help the world reject these terrorists. And the answer they came up was this:
  1. More economic development. We should coordinate our foreign aid & our direct foreign investment with our friends.
  2. Better education.
  3. Gender equality.
  4. The rule of law. We have to help these nations create civil societies.
But what's been happening over the last couple years as we watched this tumult in the Middle East, this rising tide of chaos occur, you see al-Qaida rushing in, you see other jihadist groups rushing in. It's wonderful that Libya seems to be making some progress, despite this terrible tragedy, but next door, of course, we have Egypt. Libya's 6 million population, Egypt 80 million population. We want to make sure that we're seeing progress throughout the Middle East, we've got real gaps in the region.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Third Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Sep 12, 2012
Stop sending foreign aid to people who don't like us

We continue sending billions to Afghanistan, yet Afghan president Hamid Karzai says that if neighboring Pakistan and the US went to war, his country would side with Pakistan. Why exactly are we sending so much money to Afghanistan?

Pakistani leaders have made similar comments, that if the US goes to war with Iran, Pakistan will side with Iran. Yet we continue to send Pakistan billions of US taxpayer dollars. Why?

We cannot continue to try to bully allies or pay off our enemies. So many of the countries we send aid to dislike us, regularly disrespect us, and openly tell the world they will side with our enemies.

America doesn't even have the money to send them. We're borrowing the money from China to aid people who don't like us. This is illogical. It's an insult.

And it should end.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.199

Rand Paul on Foreign Policy : Sep 12, 2012
Freeze aid to Egypt until they release detained Americans

When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office in 2011, a member of Mubarak's old guard decided to charge workers with the "crime" of doing something they had been doing legally and with full permission for years. American and Egyptian citizens were arrested.

Due to a near criminal degree of corruption, abuse, and waste on the part of many recipients--not to mention the fact that we can't afford it--I had long been in favor of eliminating foreign aid altogether. But since the aid existed, I thought it gave Congress the perfect tool to help the detained Americans.

I attempted to freeze aid to Egypt. We had sent Mubarak's regime over $60 billion and now a member of that same regime was responsible for arresting and holding American citizens against their will--19 US nationals. I proposed an amendment to end ALL foreign aid to Egypt--economic aid, military aid, all aid--in 30 days unless the American citizens were released. We give over $1.5 billion to Egypt annually.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p.196-198

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Sep 4, 2012
Prepare for global pandemics with global partners

Q: What steps should the US take to protect our population from emerging diseases, global pandemics and/or deliberate biological attacks?

A: Advancements in technology allow Americans to travel internationally with ease, and allow us to welcome individuals from around the world. This fluidity also requires that we, as a nation, are prepared to protect against them. I will continue to work to strengthen our systems of public health so we can stop disease from spreading across our borders. It is also important that should these threats breach our borders, our communities can respond quickly & effectively. Lastly, to help our country prepare to meet these challenges, we have been working with the private sector to assess potential vulnerabilities. I have no doubt that we can counter any threat we face, but we cannot face it alone. We must continue to work with our international partners, remain diligent in seeking out new threats, and prepare to act should a need arise.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Top American Science Questions, by sciencedebate.org

Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy : Feb 2, 2012
We can no longer afford to shell out billions in foreign aid

When I visited Occupy Wall Street, I felt the frustration of young people who wanted to work but couldn't get an interview, much less a job. When I visit business owners and employers, I meet people who want to hire, but can't.

Meanwhile, the federal government is spending us deeper and deeper into debt while we shell out billions in foreign aid we can no longer afford and trillions more for foreign wars in which our national interest is just not apparent to me.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Gary Johnson, "America moving again" in The Washington Times

Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy : Nov 15, 2011
No foreign aid spending unless it protects U.S. interests

Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government's responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years. Given trillion-dollar deficits, America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests. There is nation-building and rebuilding to be done right here at home.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com

Condoleezza Rice on Foreign Policy : Nov 1, 2011
Development assistance should support US objectives

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) had always considered its mission to be separate from and yet equal to that of the State Department. Development was thought to be a long-term process and--theoretically--free of political and strategic motivations.

The problem was that the cultures of State and USAID were very different, the latter eschewing the idea that it was involved in "US foreign policy." That attitude, I was sure, would have come as a shock to taxpayers. I needed to make the point that the US is not a nongovernmental organization. We can't simply focus on a single issue at the expense of others. I saw--and still see--nothing wrong with the proposition that development assistance ought to support broader US foreign policy objectives.

US development assistance was critical in achieving the goals of democracy and good governance. Sometimes foreign assistance was for purely strategic purposes--but we wanted those cases to be the exception and not the rule.

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: No Higher Honor, by Condoleezza Rice, p.426-427

Gary Johnson on Homeland Security : Sep 22, 2011
43% reduction in military spending; cut foreign aid too

Q: [to Gingrich]: We send billions of dollars overseas to countries that hate us. Should we?

GINGRICH: I would replace virtually all government to government aid with some kind of investment approach. Our bureaucrats giving their bureaucrats money is a guaranteed step towards corruption.

Q: How do you balance foreign aid with other expenditures?

JOHNSON: I think the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we're bankrupt, so I am promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013, and included in that is a 43% reduction in military spending. I think it's crazy that we have foreign aid to countries when we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do that. Military alliances are really key to other countries taking up the slack.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Marco Rubio on Foreign Policy : Sep 12, 2011
Foreign aid spreads positive influence around the world

Funding for aid to the developing world is a particularly easy target for budget cutters on Capitol Hill these days. The argument offered by many fiscal conservatives is that, given the U.S. debt crisis, America simply can't afford to spend billions of dollars on programs to combat world hunger, food shortages or direct aid to foreign countries. Rubio, however, is the rare Republican who publicly defends U.S. foreign aid spending.

In an online video response to a constituent question, Rubio laid out his case. The United States has to "be more careful about how we spend foreign aid," Rubio acknowledged, but "if it's done right, it spreads America's influence around the world in a positive way. I think sometimes, in the press and in the minds of many, our foreign aid is exaggerated. It really is a miniscule part of our overall budget. And it's not the reason why we have this growing debt in America," he said, instead pointing to entitlement programs.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Congressional Quarterly Profiles: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Aug 1, 2008
Global Poverty Act: spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid

As the Democratic primaries were winding down in May 2008, Obama quietly steered his Global Poverty Act, known as S. 2433, through the Senate. Obama likes to characterize S. 2433 as requiring "the president to develop and implement a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade debt relief, and coordination with the international community, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations)." Obama clearly hopes he will be in his second term as president by then, so reduction of global poverty by half can be tracked back to his co-sponsorship of this visionary piece of legislation.

Critics on the right, who were anything but enthusiastic, sarcastically renamed the bill the "Global Poverty Tax." The legislation "would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.250

Mike Huckabee on Homeland Security : Jan 1, 2008
Support moderate modern evil over Al-Qaeda’s medieval evil

The United States’ biggest challenge in the Arab and Muslim worlds is the lack of a viable moderate alternative to radicalism. On the one hand, there are radical Islamists willing to fight dictators with terrorist tactics that moderates are too humane to use. On the other, there are repressive regimes that stay in power by force and through the suppression of basic human rights--many of which we support by buying oil, such as the Saudi government, or with foreign aid, such as the Egyptian government.

Although we cannot export democracy as if it were Coca-Cola or KFC, we can nurture moderate forces in places where al Qaeda is seeking to replace modern evil with medieval evil. Such moderation may not look or function like our system--it may be a benevolent oligarchy or more tribal than individualistic--but both for us and for the peoples of those countries, it will be better than the dictatorships they have now or the theocracy they would have under radical Islamists.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: America’s Priorities in the War on Terror: Foreign Affairs

John Bolton on Foreign Policy : Nov 6, 2007
1981: Returned $21M in unspent USAID funds to Treasury

At the Agency for International Development (AID), our main program of bilateral foreign economic assistance [was] in effect the descendant of the Marshall Plan. Our goal was to make AID's programs more market-driven. While at AID, early on, we made a key point by returning to the US Treasury $28 million that was obtained by canceling AID projects around the world that were failing. This was not a huge amount of money in Washington, but it was a shock to a government culture of spending that NEVER returned money to the Treasury. We made up a big check, like the ones seen on game shows, which Reagan obviously loved.

Although we made only a start in the 1980s at AID, the collapse of Communism seemed to show that pro-liberty, premarket forces essentially won the debate.

Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton, p. 20-21

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 23, 2007
Supported strong funding for international development

Hillary worked quietly with her husband’s top officials on their budgets and policy priorities in areas that interested her, such as the US Agency for International Development. Brian Atwood, the director of USAID, said that Hillary “deserves more credit. than anyone” for securing an increase in funding for his agency in 1997.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p.263

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Aug 26, 2007
$50B annually to strengthen weak states at risk of collapse

Barack Obama believes that strengthening weak states at risk of collapse, economic meltdown or public health crises strengthens America’s security. Obama will double U.S. spending on foreign aid to $50 billion a year by 2012.

He will help developing countries invest in sustainable democracies and demand more accountability in return. Obama will establish a $2 billion Global Education Fund to eliminate the global education deficit. He will reduce the debt of developing nations and better coordinate trade and development policies.

Obama also will reestablish U.S. moral leadership by respecting civil liberties; ending torture; restoring habeas corpus; making the U.S. electoral processes fair and transparent and fighting corruption at home.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website, BarackObama.com “Flyers”

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 17, 2005
Obligation to support Israel with more than foreign aid

(Senator Hillary Clinton, letter to Colin Powell, April 9, 2002)(Senator Hillary Clinton, American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, May 24, 2005)
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p.210-211

Newt Gingrich on Foreign Policy : Oct 1, 2005
Finance world biodiversity hot spots via foreign aid

The world biodiversity hot spots have been identified. These are places where biologists and botanists have discovered unusually rich concentrations of animals and plants. If the US challenged Europe and Japan to join it in financing a world biodiversity refuge system and tied foreign aid into maintaining biodiversity, we could probably save a very high percentage of the earth's biological richness for our children and grandchildren to enjoy, study, and learn from at a surprisingly small cost.
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p.171

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Nov 1, 2003
Supports USAID projects in developing world

My visit to the subcontinent was meant to demonstrate that this strategic and volatile part of the world was important to the US and that Bill supported their efforts to strengthen democracy, expand free markets and promote tolerance and human rights.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.268-270

Hillary Clinton on Health Care : Nov 1, 2003
Low-tech low-cost water treatment for developing world

Bangladesh, the most densely populated country on earth, presented the starkest contrast of wealth and poverty I saw in South Asia. But this was another country I had long wanted to visit, because it was home to two international recognized projects--the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research (ICDDR/B) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Grameen Bank, a pioneer of microcredit. The ICDDR/B is an important example of the positive results that come from foreign aid. Dysentery is a leading cause of death, particularly among children, in parts of the world where there are limited sources of clean drinking water, The ICDDR/B developed "oral rehydration therapy" (ORT), a solution composed mostly of salt, sugar and water, that is easy to administer and responsible for saving the lives of millions of children. This simple, inexpensive solution has been called one of the most important medical advances of the century, and the hospital that pioneered it depends on American aid.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.283-284

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 3, 1997
Foreign aid spending is only 1%; lead by remaining engaged

I think many people are mistaken about how much money we spend on foreign aid. We spend 1%, and many believe we spend 25%. That 1% investment has made a difference in solving problems but also in helping America to be stronger by solving problems around the world. We sometimes learn lessons we can bring home. I want us to continue to be a leader, and you don’t lead from behind walls. You don’t lead by walking away from the world. I think you lead by remaining engaged and trying to shape events.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Unique Voice, p.111-12

Jerry Brown on Homeland Security : Feb 12, 1996
$265B Pentagon budget passed without much debate

Let's take for example the latest Pentagon budget. I don't recall much significant debate about it at all. Clinton signed it at $265 billion. The only issues that were talked about in the media were the banning of HIV-positive enlisted personnel, and the banning of abortions at military clinics. In terms of the $265 billion and how that stacks up against other countries, I don't think I saw anything in the mainstream press at all, and I saw nothing about foreign aid.
Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p.222

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