Sat June 23, 2012
Rand Paul Will Get Senate Vote on Bill that Strips Foreign Aid from Pakistan
Kentucky's junior US Senator says he has secured the right for an up-or-down vote on a proposal to end all American aid to Pakistan. The move would be a protest against the prison sentence given to a Pakastani doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, says such up-or-down votes are rare in the Senate, and would likely cause some members discomfort.
"You will see some folks squirming in their seats on this one," Sen. Paul told The Wall Street Journal.
Sen. Paul's bill would cut off aid to Islamabad for the rest of the year, as well as next year.
Congress had appropriated $2 billion for the current fiscal year, but much of that money remains unspent. Lawmakers have also been considering proposals of around $1 billion in aid for Pakistan next year.
US-Pakastani relations came under renewed strain recently when a tribal court sentenced Shakil Afridi to 33 years in jail. Afridi is the Pakastani doctor who helped the CIA track down bin Laden through a fake vaccination program.
The discovery of bin Laden in Pakastan was a huge national embarrassment for the country and its government, which had long denied the terrorist leader was living within its borders.