Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday introduced a bill prohibiting the Department of State and USAID from sending foreign aid to Pakistan.
If signed into law, Paul’s bill would redirect those funds, which amount to more than $2 billion per year, to the Highway Trust Fund.
“We fail our responsibilities to protect our country and properly steward taxpayers’ hard-earned money when we support countries that chant ‘Death to America’ and burn our flag,” Senator Paul stated. “Let’s bring that money home and use it to help rebuild our infrastructure instead of giving it to a nation that persecutes Christians and imprisons people such as the doctor that helped us get Osama bin Laden.”
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President Trump, convinced that America has gotten a “raw deal” from Pakistan for many years, tweeted support for Sen. Paul’s proposal earlier this month. (RELATED: Trump Slams Pakistan In First Tweet Of 2018: ‘Nothing But Lies And Deceit’)
It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Calls for ending aid to Pakistan are growing on both sides of the aisle. In the House of Representatives, Republican Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii are preparing to introduce a similar bill.
Paul has been an outspoken and consistent opponent of federal foreign assistance to Pakistan ever since 2012. That year, Paul introduced an amendment that would limit foreign assistance to Pakistan in response to the incarceration of Dr. Shakil Afridi, a physician who helped the CIA run a fake hepatitis vaccination program to track down and kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Later that year, Paul introduced another amendment slashing $4 billion of annual foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.
Paul’s longstanding skepticism regarding the Pakistani government is hardly unique. Trump’s blunt assessments of the country have also remained remarkably consistent over the years.
When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden for 6 years?! Some "ally."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2012