The Senate on Wednesday rejected an amendment from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky that would have stopped the flow of U.S. aid to Egypt.
The amendment would have been attached to the transportation spending bill, re-routing the $1.5 billion in U.S. annual aid currently sent to Egypt to repair damaged bridges in the United States. The Senate voted the measure down, 86 to 13, Politico reports
Paul said the United States should focus on domestic needs rather than foreign aid, citing Detroit's bankruptcy and Chicago's violence.
But Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said slashing Egypt's aid would also damage Israel, America's biggest Mideast ally.
"This is a question of whether the senator from Kentucky knows what's better for Israel, or if Israel knows what's better for Israel," McCain said.
Among those supporting the Paul amendment were Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and fellow GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
Most experts don't see the United States slashing assistance to Egypt anytime soon.
"I think it is unlikely that aid to Egypt will be stripped, short of a major provocation from Egypt [that] the U.S. cannot ignore, along the lines of massive killing of demonstrators," Marina Ottoway, a senior scholar at the Wilson Center, told Time magazine
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