Rand Paul pushes Senate to cut foreign aid

Sen. Rand Paul today issued a Dear Colleague letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he urged them to pass a bill cutting all foreign aid to any country that fails to secure our embassies, as well as, demanding accountability from the countries of Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya, that were recently involved in the violence directed at our embassies. He issued a similar letter to his colleagues in the Senate, underlining his intention to filibuster any pending legislation until the Senate addresses these matters.


September 18, 2012

Dear Colleague:

As this is expected to be the final week of legislative session for both the House and Senate before an extended recess, I urge you to take immediate action to pass a much-needed bill demanding cooperation and accountability from the countries involved in the recent violence directed at our embassies and consulates.  The bill should send a strong clear message to these entities: You do not get foreign aid unless you are an unwavering ally of the United States.

This week is likely our last chance to address the ongoing violence, to promote security at our diplomatic facilities, and to take appropriate steps to ensure cooperation from the governments of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

First, we must demand accountability from the government of Pakistan, which receives over $3 billion from us every year, yet routinely plays both sides of some of the most important issues while openly thwarting our objectives in the region.  They should be subject to the same conditions applied to Egypt, Libya, and the others, and they should also release Dr. Shakil Afridi, the doctor who bravely stepped forward to help us in our efforts to identify the hiding place of Osama bin Laden.  Dr. Afridi remains under arrest for his role in finding bin Laden, and no country that arrests a man for helping to find bin Laden is an ally of the United States.  If Pakistan wants to be our ally-and receive foreign aid for being one-then they should act like it, and they must start by releasing Dr. Afridi.

At the same time, we must take steps to cut foreign aid to Egypt and Libya-or any other country which fails to secure our embassies-and we must make it clear that, unless there is full cooperation in bringing these attackers to justice, no foreign aid will be provided in the future.  A full investigation is necessary to determine who is responsible for these murders, and simply identifying the persons responsible is not enough.  We must insist that any country which expects assistance dollars from the United States cannot permit the growth and influence of violent ideologies within their borders-especially when the practitioners of these ideologies are intent on murdering our diplomatic personnel abroad.  All of these actions must be verified and certified before Congress considers resuming aid. 

While I believe the most effective tactic is to demand a full stop to the flow of foreign aid money to these countries until those responsible for the attacks on our diplomats are found, there are other options which can be considered.  For example, significant cuts that are less than the full amount of foreign aid could be considered, coupled with redirecting a portion of the money into the improvement of security at our diplomatic facilities.   If these countries cannot secure American lives and property, our increased cost of doing so must come out of the money set aside for aid.

The timing of this action by Congress is crucial.  There is no better time than now to send a clear message to the world that we will not send good money after bad any longer.  I have insisted on floor consideration and votes on these issues in the Senate, and will be engaged in a filibuster of the Continuing Resolution and any recess for adjournment until the Senate allows action on these vital matters.

I hope you will join me in this effort by passing a bill in the House of Representatives to address this ongoing crisis.


Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator

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