Highway bill stalled in Senate over Paul's Egypt amendment

Republican firebrand Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday suggested he plans to continue his delay of the Senate's business unless he is granted a vote on his amendment to strip Egypt of foreign aid for 30 days in retribution for the country's detention of 19 American pro-democracy workers.

Several Democrats have blasted Paul, although not by name, in the last two-days, claiming his demand for a vote on the amendment is not germane and delaying a "jobs bill."

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For example on Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said such dilatory tactics were "beneath the United States Senate of America" without naming Paul specifically.

Paul fired back from the floor on Tuesday, saying that the situation in Egypt requires the upper chamber's urgent attention.

"I don't think this is too much to ask the Senate, to spend 10 minutes [voting]," Paul said. "Some say I am holding up the business of Senate, but I would say this is the business of the Senate."

The Paul amendment would strip Egypt of all foreign aid for 30 days or until it releases the 19 pro-democracy workers.


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Paul complained that President Obama's budget offered on Monday includes the regular $1.5 billion in aid for Egypt despite the fact that an apparently non-Democratic military regime now controls the country.

"When will we ever learn that you can't buy friendship?" he asked. "We cannot continue to give aid to a country that is illegally detaining U.S. civilians."

Paul said as soon as he is granted the vote, he will end his blockade of Senate business.