Rand Paul questions John Kerry on foreign aid
During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing concerning the FY2014 International Affairs Budget, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) questioned Secretary of State John Kerry on foreign aid and the corrupt leaders that have received it.
Paul began with the statement that he’s used several times before, “You mention in your remarks that we don’t need politicians to go home and say that we need to end foreign aid and spend that money at home.
“Well, this might come as news to one of the most prominent politicians in our country who said in his re-election campaign that we need to do less nation building abroad and more nation building at home, and that would be your current boss, the President of the United States. So I don’t think this is unique to Republicans or Democrats.
“In fact I think this crosses all party lines. It is not me going home and creating an atmosphere where people are doubtful of foreign aid. It’s that 80 to 90 percent are doubtful.”
He also went on to talk about the deteriorating condition of the infrastructure in the US and Kentucky in particular and the inability of the White House to keep the tours going, while Washington funnels hundreds of millions to places like Egypt.
“Many of us find that offensive”, Paul said.
Paul continued his opening statement by talking about the corrupt leaders that essentially got rich of US foreign aid like Mubarak and Mobutu.
He then asked Sec. Kerry to respond.
“Has some money been stolen? Absolutely. But by the largest measure possible today because of reforms that have been put in place, because of new accountability systems, because of the way aid is given now, because of something like the Millennium Challenge Corporation standards that are applied, investment and other kinds of things, the money, a lot of it doesn’t go to governments anymore directly. It goes into either the investment or into the project. It’s quite controlled. And that’s one of the reforms that has been put into place”, noted Kerry.
“But some of the riches of, you know, people who have ripped off their own governments have not necessarily have come from our aid. They’ve come from stealing the revenues of their oil, or selling the diamonds and the rubies that they have in their, you know, resource rich mines.”
Kerry later justified foreign aid as a ” one penny on the dollar” investment.
A huge supporter of foreign aid, Kerry continued, “I’ll give you an example: we have stopped countless plots against our country, which had the FBI had not cooperated, and if the CIA and other entities not been creating some of the programs we have, had we not worked with the justice systems, and had Interpol and the other things we worked with, we would’ve never done Americans would have died. And they would’ve been blown up.
“But for the discovery of the Christmas bomber or the other people, which came through these kinds of efforts, we made our country safer. So, I have to tell you, for the penny on the dollar, I’ll still make this argument anywhere even though, yes, occasionally something gets abused just as it gets abused in some parts of every government.”