Kentucky’s Republican Senator Rand Paul says it’s time to stop giving foreign aid to countries that express open hostility to the United States, and instead redirect those funds to rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.
“I would take the money that we send to a lot of countries that aren’t necessarily our friends like Pakistan, I would redirect that money into building roads and bridges here,” Paul said on Fox and Friends on Thursday.
“I have a bill that I will introduce next week, that will take the about $2 billion we spend in Pakistan, let’s spend it in the United States … Let’s don’t give it to people who hate us and burn our flag and chant: ‘Death to America,’” he said.
Paul’s call to cease foreign aid to Pakistan follows President Trump’s statements calling out the South Asian country for “deceit.”
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Paul clarified that there were steps that the government could take to cut down on the dangers posed by foreign threats to the United States without giving hostile regimes money to keep themselves in check.
“We can still have military arrangements with them, but I’d like to see somebody who actually has money to buy our stuff, rather than give it to them. We give everything to Pakistan,” said the senator.
“There are rumors that the Pakistani intelligence actually cooperate with Haqqani network that kills our soldiers. So I think it’s a real disservice … to give money to a government that may be cooperating with people who are killing our soldiers, so no,” he added. “Pakistan at best is a frenemy.”
The senator said that Pakistan knowingly harbored terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, persecutes Christians, and even the whistleblower who provided the United States with information on bin Laden’s whereabouts.
President Trump is expected to announce a series of financial aid cuts Pakistan for its support of terrorist organizations in the coming days or weeks.