Jordain Carney, thehill.com/blogs
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is taking aim at tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funding used by the State Department to bolster the country's relationship with the United Kingdom.
The Kentucky Republican is using his latest edition of "The Waste Report" — which highlights "egregious examples of waste" — to target $90,000 from the State Department.The money would be used to give funding for projects within the United Kingdom that would "promote a more accurate and positive image of the United States," according to the State Department's website for grants.
Paul, however, quipped in his report that "we do not recommend sharing 'The Patriot,'" referring to a Hollywood film about the Revolutionary War.
"Promoting peaceful relations? While it is true that the United States and the United Kingdom had a rocky start to our relationship, after more than a century of alliance it is probably safe to say we are on pretty good terms with our friends across the pond," Paul's report, which was released Monday, adds.
Under the State Department grant, the funding for an individual project could start at $250.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, defended the funding late last week, saying that while the two countries have a "special relationship," "all friendships need to continue to be cultivated."
"We absolutely believe that efforts to contribute to cultural exchanges and public diplomacy initiatives, we — it’s money well spent," he added. "It can lead to entire new generations of young people who might otherwise not know or realize or fully appreciate the depth of this special relationship we have with the U.K."