Dems Quash Rand Paul’s Amendment To Freeze U.S. Aid To Palestinian Authority

“...the money continues to flow, regardless of the behavior of the recipients.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, center, speaks during a news conference following the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. A temporary spending bill to prevent a partial US government shutdown on Saturday passed its first procedural test in the Senate on Tuesday, a sign that the legislation is on track to be approved in time to meet the deadline.
Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats voted down an amendment on Thursday proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that aimed to freeze U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, which controls parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The amendment would have stopped aid to the Palestinian Authority or any Palestinian government in the West Bank or Gaza until specific conditions were met, such as the Palestinian Authority formally condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel and a safe return of the hostages being held by Hamas, Fox News reported. Paul’s amendment was attached to the short-term spending bill that Congress passed on Thursday to avert a government shutdown through March. 

“The only thing consistent about American foreign aid is that the money continues to flow, regardless of the behavior of the recipients,” Paul said, according to POLITICO. “You would think with the massacre and everything else why would we be giving any money to the Palestinians … shouldn’t they have to do something to earn the money?”

Forty-seven Senate Democrats, plus the three independent senators who caucus with the party, voted against Paul’s measure. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the lone Democrat to vote in favor of the amendment, and six Republicans did not cast a vote. The measure, which needed 60 votes in its favor to pass, failed 44-50. 

“We speak of human rights but reward those who violate them,” Paul said on the floor on Thursday. “We can no longer afford empty rhetoric. It makes no sense to borrow money from China and turn around and give that money away to foreign countries. It is fiscally irresponsible, and it is weakening our national security. America must demand a change, a change in behavior from those who do not accept Israel’s right to exist from those who actively seek the destruction of the State of Israel and murder innocent Israelis.”

Paul, who regularly opposes U.S. aid to foreign countries, was the lone Republican to join a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) earlier this week that would have frozen U.S. aid to Israel unless the Biden administration reported to Congress within 30 days and addressed whether Israel committed human rights violations in its war against Hamas. Sanders’ measure failed to pass as the Senate overwhelmingly voted against it 72-11. 


Israel’s war against Hamas, which began in response to the terrorist group’s brutal attack on Israel on October 7, is well into its third month. The terrorists still hold around 130 hostages in the Gaza Strip, including six Americans. 

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