(CNN) - The Senate on Wednesday defeated a proposal to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt. The measure, pushed by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in the wake of the military takeover in Egypt, only got the backing of 13 senators.
The measure would have shut off $1.5 billion in aid to Cairo.
The proposal from Paul was not new. A similar measure of his received just 10 votes last fall.
Both parties have internal disagreements over this issue, but Democrats said earlier this week the vote may be tougher for Republicans, who are divided between libertarian sentiments against foreign aid and conservative bullishness to use funding as leverage overseas.
For the White House, the vote came as officials try to thread a slim policy needle, refusing to determine whether the military takeover of the Egyptian government was a coup. If it were officially labeled as a coup, U.S. law dictates that foreign aid should stop.
Aid to Egypt is becoming a perennial source of political tension in Washington. Last year, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a waiver to allow U.S. funds to flow to Cairo, despite crackdowns against groups aiming to build democracy in the country. Fellow Democrats, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, openly expressed disappointment at the decision, saying the Egyptian government needed to meet the full conditions of transitioning to a democracy.
"The debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past."
Please note: EXISTING oblilgations.
This is from the Department of the Treasury. Laverne is correct
Data, I'd be with you on that. It's just not exactly easy to just cut folks off. We could simply start with reducing our military footprint by 10-20% all over the freaking world. Then put folks on notice that we just ain't got it right now and need to scale back funding. But just like the wars, Obama didn't start them and it'll be hard to just shut 'em down.
Laverne, you are incorrect. The debt ceiling is the equivalent to the debt LIMIT on your credit card. It doesn't affect CURRENT bill payment. Rather, raising it allows for MORE spending without going into default.
Nahp. You've got it wrong. Current spending is the whole point of its' existence. You do not seem to understand budgets.
The limit goes up every month that we run a deficit, receiving less in taxes, than what we pay out in bills. Our budget commmits us to "X" amount of spending per month. That same budget will eventually cause one month to roll around when the monthly spending *commitment* will exceed the debt ceiling limit.
it's sort of like having to pay the rent/mortgage on a credit card every month. You signed a contract, so you have to pay it. You go to the card provider and you get a pre-authorization for a certain debt limit, or ceiling. Months pass by and you will eventually have to make a return trip to your card provider to raise your debt ceiling again. That's how it works.
So, Reid let a conservative bill go to a vote. Probably because he knew it would be defeated, but he still let the lunatic have his day.
Boehner could take a page from that notebook. Most of the bills sitting on his desk (and to be fair, Reid's as well) probably won't get thru. To deny votes is wrong. To deny votes while holding 40 votes on bills that won't get past the House is just stupid.
Rather one likes Rand or not, the US needs this money for the American people. I do not care about Egypt.
@Laverne – The way I like to look at it is that raising the debt ceiling is like paying your credit card bill. You have already spent the money that is on your bill. If you don't pay it, you will ruin your credit rating and will suffer consequences. Congress (which controls spending, not the President) should spend less in the first place, not default on the obligation when the bill comes due.
And these little GOP temper tantrums and threats to destroy our credit rating have to end – it's time for Conservatives to act like adults.
Oh, and @Larry, we can argue the costs and benefits of isolationism vs. global engagement, but if we want to have an outsized influence in the world that takes $$ investments... and please consider who might fill the vacuum we leave if we exit the world stage. You might not like the result. The Ron/Rand Paul view of the world is overly simplistic and not practical in the real world, which is quite complex.