JERUSALEM (AP) — In his first visit to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is calling for a gradual reduction of American foreign aid.
It's an unlikely place to deliver the message, since Israel is among the largest recipients of American assistance. But Paul said in a Monday meeting with reporters that the U.S. can't afford to keep sending money overseas, even to allies like Israel. He says it would be "harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money."
The Kentucky Republican, a longtime opponent of foreign aid, acknowledges he's expressing a "minority opinion" and doubts Congress will cut aid. He insists Washington should first cut aid to countries with strained ties to America, such as Pakistan and Egypt.
Israel gets about $3 billion a year in military aid.