Leahy said Paul's amendment to strip the ruling military regime in Egypt of U.S. aid for at least one-month or until they free American pro-Democracy activists, is both redundant to existing legislation and could cause great instability in the Middle East region.
"It would cause a backlash and the opposite reaction than what we want," said Leahy, blasting the junior senator from Kentucky from the floor. "Right now we have leverage. He is proposing to take away all leverage."
For example, Leahy said he was afraid the Egyptian regime would respond unfavorably to losing the funding, which works out to about $1.5 billion annually. They might retaliate, he said, by restricting the U.S. military’s access to their air space for missions to Afghanistan, restrict access to the Suez Canal or break peace with their neighbor, Israel.
Paul, in a floor speech earlier in the day, however, said he believes that the U.S. ought not be buying temporary friendship from despotic regimes that are responsible for over human rights violations of both their and our citizens.
"We send money, billions of dollars to these countries, and apparently they still dislike us, disrespect us and say they will side with our enemies," said Paul. "[W]ill we ever learn? Will we ever learn that you can’t buy friendship? We will ever learn that you can’t create Democrats out of authoritarians simply by buying them off?"
Paul also listed the various countries that are overtly hostile to the U.S. that still receive billions in U.S. aid suggesting some Americans are “chumps” for funding their enemies.