Paul defeated in bid to end Egypt aid

An effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Backing the amendment from Paul was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Trump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in 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 CruzTed Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' 'Medicare for All' will turn into health care for none Cruz 'impresses' his daughter with Chris Evans meeting MORE (R-Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers 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 CoburnOvernight Energy: Experts criticize changes to EPA lead, copper rule | House panel looks into plan to limit powers of EPA science advisers | Senate bill aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 Trump budget proposal funds financially struggling museum in Reagan's childhood home The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach MORE (R-Okla.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R-Kansas), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoTrump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire On The Money: Economy grows 2.3 percent in 2019, slowest year under Trump | How coronavirus could impact the US economy | Farm bankruptcies jump | Pelosi not ready to back UK trade deal Senators ask FDA to crack down on non-dairy milks, cheeses MORE (R-Idaho), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziLawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Republicans scramble to avoid Medicare land mine McConnell will not bring budget resolution to the floor MORE (R-Wyo.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenators to meet with Zelensky after impeachment trial GOP senators defend Sondland, Vindman ousters: They weren't 'loyal' What the impeachment vote looked like from inside the chamber MORE (R-Wyo.), Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Wyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe MORE (R-Iowa) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran 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) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle 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 CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (Tenn.), vowed to take up the legal issues of continued aid to Egypt when Congress returns in September.

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill