Senate to vote on Rand Paul’s foreign aid cutoff

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W. James Antle III Managing Editor
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After weeks of pressure from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, the Senate is scheduled to vote on cutting off U.S. aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

A resumption of aid would be contingent on Egypt and Libya arresting the people responsible for the recent embassy attacks and turning them over to American authorities.

Pakistan would be required to release an imprisoned doctor who helped the CIA identify Osama bin Laden.

Paul had threatened to hold up all Senate business until the measure came up for a vote.

“In no way should the United States government be sending money to governments who are not our ally, who blatantly do not respect our country, and who work to compromise the safety of our allies and citizens abroad,” the senator said in a statement. “I am pleased that the Senate leadership has listened to my pleas for an end to this and have agreed to debate and vote on this pressing issue.”

“Some argue that without foreign aid we’ll have war,” Paul said in debate Friday. “I’m arguing that because of foreign aid we have war.”

Paul has been at the forefront of a growing conservative push against foreign aid to governments viewed as unreliable allies.

The Senate’s Democratic leadership and some Republicans have resisted this effort.

“Rand Paul is one nice fellow, but I bet you he’s never talked with CIA Director General Petraeus about what would happen if we cut our aid off to Pakistan,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters at a Politico event Thursday. “It’s 90 percent popular, but I can show you things in history that were 100 percent popular that were really bad ideas.”

In order to get a vote on his foreign aid cuts, Paul threatened to filibuster a six-month government funding bill and placed holds on ambassador nominees for Iraq and Pakistan.

A vote is expected at around midnight Saturday.

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