Paul defeated in bid to end Egypt aid

An effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate MORE (R-Ky.) to freeze $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt went down to defeat on Wednesday.

Only 12 Republicans supported Paul's amendment to the transportation spending bill that would have allocated the foreign aid to Egypt for bridge repairs in the United States. The amendment was defeated in a 86-13 vote.

Paul argued that U.S. law requires the aid to be terminated in the case of a military coup, which he said happened when elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was deposed on July 3.

Senators opposed to his amendment, Paul argued, were “voting against the rule of law.”

“It's not convenient now to obey the law that they passed,” he said.

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Backing the amendment from Paul was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump admin releases trove of documents on Ukrainian military aid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions What to watch for on Day 2 of Senate impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) as well as by a coalition of Tea Party and others proponents of government spending cuts, including Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhat to watch for on Day 2 of Senate impeachment trial Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Cruz: White House not expected to push motion to dismiss impeachment articles MORE (R-Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (R-Utah), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerLobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play This week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report MORE (R-Nev.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall War powers fight in Senate runs squarely into impeachment MORE (R-Kansas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDrug price outrage threatens to be liability for GOP It's time for the Senate to advance cannabis banking reform On The Money: Senate chairman opposes cannabis banking bill | Panel advances Trump pick for Small Business Administration | Judge tosses NY state fraud charges against Manafort MORE (R-Idaho), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (R-Wyo.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Green groups raise alarms about alleged Pentagon incineration of 'forever chemicals' House passes sweeping bill to target spread of toxic 'forever chemicals' MORE (R-Wyo.), Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Mnuchin warns UK, Italy of tariffs if digital tax plans are implemented GOP can beat Democrats after impeachment — but it needs to do this one thing MORE (R-Iowa) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Senate to vote on Trump's Canada, Mexico trade deal Thursday Senate braces for Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.D.).

Leaders on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations argued at length against abruptly terminating aid to Egypt. They raised concerns, however, with the administration's decision to avoid saying whether Morsi's ouster was a coup; such a determination would have triggered an automatic aid freeze until the election of another president in Egypt.

Senate Foreign Relations chairman Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (D-N.J.) said the vote on aid was “far too important a decision to be an afterthought to an appropriations bill.”

“We need a more nuanced approach, one that speaks to both our values and our interests,” Menendez said, “and which provides the president with the flexibility needed to conduct delicate and discriminating policy in a challenging and chaotic environment.”

The top Republican on the committee, Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Tenn.), vowed to take up the legal issues of continued aid to Egypt when Congress returns in September.

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