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Sportsmen's Act of 2012--Motion to Proceed--Continued

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I stand tonight in support of the amendment of
Senator Paul to provide limitations on the amount and scope of foreign aid the United States sends abroad. This is not a decision I have reached quickly, nor is it an issue I take lightly.

I appreciate that, as some of my colleagues have pointed out, conditions already exist on some of the foreign aid we send to Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. I respectfully submit, however, that these conditions are not producing the desired result nor are they yet fully enforced.

For example, is Pakistan cooperating with the United States on countering terrorism efforts and preventing terrorists from basing or operating in Pakistan, as is already required in section 7046 of Public Law 112-74? Are the programs and activities we support in Afghanistan sustainable, as is also required by section 7046? If the answer to these and to other questions regarding this aid could possibly be no, then we have an obligation to the American people to at least review this aid and inspect every single dollar we send abroad to ensure that the billions of dollars we send to Pakistan, to Egypt, and to Libya are well spent.

I support this amendment, if for no other reason than to begin the debate on the merit of sending billions of American dollars abroad each and every year. When will we stop sending this kind of money to nations that harbor terrorists and imprison those who, like Dr. Afridi, would defend our interests?

To be clear, I don't think the amendment of Senator Paul is perfect. Many of my colleagues have legitimate concerns about this amendment's potential effect on some of our allies outside the Middle East. That is why I and several other Senators have asked our staffs to work with Senator Paul and his office to narrow the scope of this amendment. Senator Paul was responsive to our concerns and was willing to make the requested changes.

Unfortunately, the majority leader refused to allow Senator Paul to modify his own amendment. I don't yet have 2 full years under my belt as a Member of this body, but I have been around just long enough to see that managers' amendments and modifications are routinely applied to their own legislation, and I am very sorry Senator Paul was not given the courtesy that apparently is reserved only for other Members of this distinguished body.

In a Senate where the majority leader has recently announced ``the amendment days are over,'' I guess I should not be surprised.

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Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I rise to respond to my friend and distinguished colleague, the Senator from Massachusetts.

In the first place, it is significant. Dr. Afridi has been in prison for more than a year. It is significant that this amount of time has elapsed. It is appropriate that we respond in some fashion. I don't know why exactly legislation has not emerged from the Foreign Relations Committee, on which I sit. The fact is it has not.

I respect the junior Senator from Kentucky for having the courage to bring forward this legislation. Regardless, the fact is that this legislation is now before us. We can argue about how it got here and about whether it should have gone through committee, but it is before us. The fact that it is now before us means the Senator from Kentucky who introduced it ought to have certain prerogatives--prerogatives to change it or modify it before it gets to the floor. That is the point I was making, and that is the point I think bears some mention here. I think that is a point which was somehow lost in this discussion today, and that is most unfortunate.

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