Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told a gathering of conservative activists on Monday that he plans to offer legislation preventing the purchase of F-16 fighter jets by the new Egyptian government.
Paul unexpectedly appeared at the meeting via Skype. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) was scheduled to appear alone, but after an unavoidable delay to vote on the Hurricane Sandy relief bill (Senators Lee and Paul voted against the bill’s passage), Lee pulled Paul and other Republican senators in for a few comments.
In his impromptu remarks, Paul promised to thwart plans announced by the Obama administration to bypass Congress and send at least 20 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters, as well as 200 M1A1 advanced combat tanks, to the government of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The first four fighter jets are scheduled for delivery in February 2013 according to published reports.
Senator Paul, who has expressed interest in running for president in 2016, appears to be building his pro-Israel credibility in advance of the campaign. Last week, for example, at a closed-door meeting of GOP bigwigs in Charleston, South Carolina, Paul reportedly told a Christian minister that Israel would be among his highest priorities.
There is no disputing that foreign policy is on Paul’s mind lately.
On February 6, Senator Paul will deliver a message to the Heritage Foundation entitled “Restoring the Founders’ Vision of Foreign Policy.”
In an outline of the speech provided to The New American in advance of the meeting, Paul says he plans to describe “his vision of a foreign policy that respects the plain language of our Constitution, the legal powers of Congress and the important role of a strong presidency.” He will also emphasize the importance of “maintaining the strongest national defense among nations while also questioning what constitutes actual ‘defense.’”
At the meeting, Senator Paul will point out the aspects of current U.S. foreign policy that betray the constitutional conservatism he espouses and then recommend the course that he believes our nation needs to follow in order to repair our international reputation and our budget.
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