U.S. should boost domestic oil and continue aid to Israel amid Middle East turmoil, Guthrie says

03/02/2011 07:19 AM

Amid the brewing turmoil in Libya, the United States must stabilize oil prices by increasing domestic production and ensure the security of Israel, one Kentucky Republican congressman said.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, said he wouldn’t criticize the administration’s handling of Libya so far, saying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have more information.

“Secretary Clinton is very skilled in what she’s doing … It’s hard to criticize what they’re doing without enough information,” Guthrie said.

“The question is how far is it going to spread? When the torch of liberty has been lit, I mean people are really starting to feel the liberty, and that’s good,” Guthrie added.

Guthrie said he disagreed with Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s call to end foreign aid to Israel. Guthrie said he is supportive of it.

“I think it is a national security issue for us to have a stable democracy in the Middle East,” he said.

In the short-term, one of the concerns is the sharp increase in the price of oil, which could stunt the country’s economic rebound, Guthrie said.

“We should get back to pumping more oil in the Gulf,” he said.

“It’s a time to be concerned. But it’s also an exciting time because we see people take to the streets who have been oppressed for 30 years,” he said. “We could have stable democracies other than Israel in the Middle East.”

- Ryan Alessi

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