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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. POE of Texas. As stated in the report language of the bill, my amendment cuts $1.3 billion that is going specifically to Pakistan.

Pakistan seems to be the Benedict Arnold nation in the list of countries that we call allies. They have proven to be deceptive and deceitful and a danger to the United States. Here is some of the evidence:

For the last 7 months, Pakistan closed down the southern supply route. The route transported about 40 percent of all NATO supplies into the country and to Afghanistan;

Pakistan still refuses to go after the terrorist sanctuaries in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Terrorist groups like the LET, the Pakistani Taliban, and al Qaeda frequently cross over into Afghanistan, kill our troops and then run back into Pakistan and hide where our troops cannot follow them;

On May 23, 2012, Pakistan sentenced the doctor who helped us get Osama bin Laden to 33 years in prison. I thought getting the world's No. 1 terrorist--the terrorist who killed thousands of Americans--was a good thing, but apparently, Pakistan prosecuted him;

In February 2012, a NATO report confirmed our suspicions: the ISI is aiding the Taliban and other extremist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan by providing resources, sanctuary, and training;

In June 2011, Pakistan tipped off terrorists making IEDs--not once, but twice--after we told them where the bomb-making factories were and asked Pakistan to go after them;

In 2011, Pakistan tried to cheat the United States by filling out bogus reimbursement claims for allegedly going after militants when they weren't doing that at all.

There is more.

On September 22, 2011, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee: ``With ISI support, Haqqani operatives planned and conducted that truck bomb attack as well as the assault on our Embassy.'' The truck bombing he mentions here wounded more than 70 U.S. and NATO allies and troops. Admiral Mullen went on to say: ``The Haqqani Network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.''

What more do we need to hear? Pakistan doesn't deserve American money. By the end of fiscal year 2011, Pakistan had had a total of $21.5 billion of American money since FY 2002. Mr. Chairman, I ask: Has America received its money's worth? The answer is no.

I want to address a couple of arguments I've heard from the other side:

First, some say that the money in this bill for Pakistan is only to reimburse them for going after terrorists. They say we shouldn't take away that carrot. But, since 2002, Congress has already appropriated over $8 billion to the Coalition Support Fund specifically for Pakistan. Where I come from, if you try something and it doesn't work, you don't continue to do it. We've been doing the same thing for over 10 years. It's time for a new strategy with Pakistan. More money is not going to solve the problem.

Second, they say Pakistan just reopened the southern supply route. Pakistan closed the southern supply route from November 2011 to this month. Pakistan was a bad ally before it closed the supply route. The fact that they messed us around and closed it for 7 months only adds to the long list of evidence that shows they are no friend of ours. It also shows that we don't need them to win the war in Afghanistan. We were able to pursue our mission in Afghanistan without them. What really endangers our troops is not access to the southern supply route, but the failure to get access to Pakistan's tribal areas where Pakistan gives terrorists a safe haven.

Pakistan is playing America. The only thing Pakistan's military rulers understand is dollars, and as long as we keep the money flowing, they have no incentive to change their evil ways.

Our message should be this: Pakistan has a raging insurgency in their country with al Qaeda, the Pakistan Taliban, and the Haqqani Network. Pakistan can either receive assistance and go after these terrorists with us or don't take any of our money, and we will find our own way to take these terrorists out.

I urge all of my colleagues to join me in telling Pakistan they will no longer get American money. We don't need to pay Pakistan to betray us. They will do it for free.

I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. POE of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

My understanding is, in the report language, to specify a certain country would not be ruled in order; therefore, I used the $1.3 billion with the floor statement that applies only to Pakistan and none of our coalition countries that you have mentioned.

I am open to an amendment that would be ruled in order, and I would be glad to work with the chairman on that amendment.

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. We would probably have to take a few minutes to do that, which I would be very happy to do because what you want to do is what I want to do.

Mr. Chairman, let me inquire as to where we are in this bill so we can have an opportunity to amend this amendment and still not get beyond the point of reading.

The Acting CHAIR. The reading has progressed to page 127, line 2.

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Would the gentleman be willing to do just that, withdraw your amendment now, and let us take a few minutes and guarantee that these coalition partners are not included?

Mr. POE of Texas. Yes, I would certainly be willing to do that.

I will withdraw my amendment.

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I thank the gentleman very much. This is an important issue.

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Mr. POE of Texas. I thank the Chair.

I thank the chairman, and his staff especially, for working with me on this amendment, which I would like to associate my previous remarks in a previous amendment on Pakistan to this amendment. Basically the intent is to cut half of the money that goes to Pakistan under title IX in this legislation.

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. POE of Texas. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I want to thank the gentleman for working with us. As we discussed earlier during our debate, we would work together to find a solution that would be acceptable. You have done that, I congratulate you, and I support your amendment.

Mr. POE of Texas. I yield back the balance of my time.

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