Pointing to recent attacks on American consulates and embassies — including the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens — Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on September 13 offered an amendment to the foreign aid bill that would deny funds to Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya.
Paul’s amendment is a revised version of a measure he put forward in July that would have held up aid to Pakistan pending the release of Dr. Shakil Afridi.
Dr. Afridi is believed to have played a vital role in the manhunt that led to the locating and killing of Osama bin Laden. He is being held in a Pakistani prison on a 33-year sentence. Afridi ran a vaccination program that was allegedly just a front for a CIA operation to obtain a DNA sample that would verify bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan. A senior CIA official told the New York Times that the effort ultimately was unsuccessful.
Following a debate on the Senate floor with Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Paul changed his tack and called for the money that would have been sent to the three countries to be diverted to the veterans jobs bill instead.
The total amount of foreign aid to Pakistan, Libya, and Egypt is roughly $4 billion annually. Sen. Paul’s revised amendment would strip that money from those three countries and send $2 billion of the money saved and add it to the veterans job bill. According to a statement released by Sen. Paul’s office, the remaining $2 billion would “go to deficit reduction.”
In a statement, Paul said,
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Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images