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Public Statements

Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 And 2011

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me these 2 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill. Some are hopeful that this will be a less militaristic approach to our foreign policy. Quite frankly, I don't see any changes. I wish it were something that would represent a humble foreign policy, but when you put an extra $100 million into the military operations of the United Nations, I hardly think this is a change in direction. Actually, it's $18 billion that is going into more meddling, and we don't have $18 billion.

The President has now asked us here in the Congress to follow the PAYGO rules. Well, that might be a good idea if we had set aside the idea that we would raise taxes, but we're not going to cut any domestic spending for this foreign spending, so the odds of this following the PAYGO rule are essentially nil.

I want to call attention to one provision in this that is rather disturbing to me, and that is the Civilian Stabilization Initiative. This is new. It was not invented by this administration. It was invented by the last administration. This is to set up a permanent standing, nation-building office with an employment of or with the use of nearly 5,000 individuals.

So what is the goal of this new initiative going to be? It will facilitate democratic and political transitions in various countries.

Now, if you want to talk about interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, that is exactly what this is all about. Facilitating democratic and political transitions? Well, of course. We've been doing that for a long time, but we've gotten ourselves into a lot of trouble doing it. We did it in 1953, and we're still suffering the consequences. This initiative is a little more honest. It's up front. We're actually supporting and funding a facility that would be involved in political transitions. The mandate in this is to ``reconstruct'' societies. That sounds wonderful. There are a lot of societies that need reconstruction, but so many of the societies that we have to reconstruct we helped to destroy or to disrupt.

Think of what our troops and our money have done in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. I think this provision, itself, is enough reason to vote against this authorization.

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