Paul's Pakistan Measure Defeated in Senate

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Date: Sept. 22, 2012
From: CQ Today
Publisher: CQ-Roll Call, Inc.
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 393 words
Lexile Measure: 1390L

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The Senate early Saturday overwhelmingly voted down a bill from Kentucky Republican Rand Paul that would cut off aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

The chamber rejected 10-81 the measure after Paul spent the week filibustering Senate action and demanding a vote on his proposal.

Paul has long demanded that Pakistan release Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped U.S. forces track down and kill Osama bin Laden. In light of last week's attacks on American embassies, he added provisions to his bill (S 3576) to block aid to Egypt and Libya, as well.

Paul said in a statement that the U.S. government shouldn't send 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."

"I have been arguing primarily about Pakistan," Paul said on the floor. "But the thing is this is bigger than Pakistan. Pakistan is just the most egregious and one of the larger recipients of our aid--$3 billion worth a year."

Democrats and Paul's fellow Republicans widely opposed the proposal.

Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss said on the floor that Pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons and maintaining any kind of alliance with the country leaves the dialogue about those weapons open.

New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte said passing the bill would mean breaking the Camp David Accord, in which the United States pledged to provide aid to Egypt. Ayotte said that would mean making Israel less safe.

"And there is nothing more in the world that the regime in Iran wants than to have Israel be less safe," Ayotte added.

The bill also would prohibit aid to countries in which a U.S. diplomatic facility is attacked, trespassed upon or breached.

As part of a deal with Senate leaders to vote on the legislation to cut foreign aid, Paul agreed to lift his hold on the Obama administration's nominee to be ambassador to Pakistan.

Paul confirmed Friday afternoon that he no longer planned to hold up Richard G. Olson's nomination, which should smooth the path for his confirmation by the full Senate before the chamber departs for recess.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed Olson's nomination by voice vote on Sept. 19.

Emily Cadei contributed to this story.

Source: CQ Today Round-the-clock coverage of news from Capitol Hill. [c]2012 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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