"Over the last 40 years America has lavished over $60 billion of welfare on the government of Egypt and they act with insolence and disregard by detaining 19 of our citizens," said Paul. “The president should today call the ambassador in and send him home with a message. A message that America will not tolerate any country holding American citizens as prisoners.”
"We can hang our heads low, we can take the tack of Jimmy Carter, we can try to placate Egypt with concessions and offer them bribes in the form of more foreign aid, or America can respond with strength and tell them we will no longer send annual welfare checks to them,” he said.
Paul's amendment, which he attempted to offer, would strip the government of one month worth of the $1.8 billion in aid it is slated to receive this year, or until they agree to return the Americans they are holding hostage.
Boxer, who is managing the pending highway bill, however, blocked Paul’s attempt to call up the amendment, arguing, as she has all week, that extraneous amendments could drag down legislation that has the potential of creating more than 2 million jobs.
"I want to be very clear here that members on both sides of the aisle have very strong feelings that this amendment should not be brought up," she said.