A top Republican Senator has introduced legislation to withhold nearly $2 billion of taxpayer’s money to Pakistan in protest against the South Asian Islamic country’s lackadaisical approach to fighting terrorism.
The bill, introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), prohibit the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from funding Pakistan.
Instead, the bill would redirect those funds, amounting to $1.28 billion from the State Department and $852 million from USAID, to the Highway Trust Fund.
A bipartisan companion legislation will be introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) later.
“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. 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,” Paul said in a statement.
Paul is a staunch critic of Islamabad, and has long been advocating to stop providing American taxpayer support to Pakistan.
In July 2012, he introduced an amendment to limit foreign assistance to Pakistan unless it released Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. track down and kill Osama bin Laden.