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Ensuring the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I rise today to present an amendment that would stop the transfer of F-16s and Abrams tanks to Egypt. I think it particularly unwise to send tanks and our most sophisticated fighter planes to Egypt at a time in which many are saying the country may be unraveling.

Ironically, a year ago, the Arab spring occurred. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tahir Square to protest against the government that was instituting martial law. Ironically, the current President now has instituted martial law. Once again, the dread ``indefinite detention'' is threatened to citizens in Egypt.

As the rioting expands, many see Egyptian descending into chaos. What is President Obama's response to this? To send them some of the most sophisticated weapons we have, F-16 fighters and Abrams tanks. I think this is particularly unwise. This amendment will stop it. I think this is particularly unwise since Egypt is currently governed by a religious zealot, a religious zealot who said recently that Jews were ``bloodsuckers'' and ``descendents of apes and pigs.''

This does not sound like the kind of stable personality to whom we should be sending our most sophisticated weapons. I think it is a grave mistake to send F-16s and Abrams tanks to a country that last year detained American citizens on trumped-up political charges, to a country that currently is still detaining Egyptian citizens on trumped-up political charges.

I think it is a blunder of the first proportion to send sophisticated weapons to a country that allowed a mob to attack our embassy and to burn our flag. I find it objectionable to send weapons, F-16s and tanks, to a country that allowed a mob chanting ``death to America'' to threaten our American diplomats.

I am concerned that these weapons, some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world, someday may be used against Israel. I am concerned these weapons threaten Israel's security. I am concerned that we are sending weapons to a country with a President who recently was seen to be chanting ``Amen'' to a cleric who was saying, ``death to Israel'' and ``death to those who support Israel.''

I think it is foolhardy to support and send arms to both sides of an arms race. We send 20 F-16s to Egypt, which already has 240 F-16s. We send 20 in addition. What does Israel feel? They have to have two for every one Egypt has. It escalates an arms race and makes it more difficult for Israel to defend herself.

Today we have a chance to stop this folly. I urge my colleagues to instruct the President that we will not send any more F-16s and any more Abrams tanks to the current Government of Egypt.

I yield the floor.

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