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Mr. PAUL. Madam President, last evening I had a spirited exchange with the majority leader. The exchange was over whether we should send billions of dollars, billions of dollars we technically don't even have, to foreign countries that disrespect us, foreign countries that have tortured people who are friends of America.
In Pakistan, Dr. Shakil Afridi helped us to get bin Laden. He has been tortured, kept in prison, and now been given a life sentence. I have asked one simple thing. I want to have 15 minutes, have a discussion, and have a vote on whether we should continue to send money to Pakistan. I have said we should send not one penny to Pakistan until this doctor is released. We offered at one time a $50 million reward for help in getting bin Laden. Young men and women sacrificed their limbs to go to Afghanistan, many sacrificed their lives to go to Pakistan to get bin Laden. And this man who helped get bin Laden, we are now letting him rot in a prison. We are now letting this man spend the rest of his life in prison.
Do you know what this administration did? About a month ago they gave Pakistan about $1 billion more. Do you know how Pakistan responded? The head of the security agency for Pakistan said very snidely and with a great deal of arrogance: Come back and talk to us in 10 years about Dr. Afridi. They are going to keep him in prison for the rest of his life if he is not killed. His life has been threatened. Other prisoners and the public have threatened his family's life.
Is this how we treat a friend of America? I have asked for 15 minutes to have a vote. Why don't they want to have a vote? Because they know the American people are with me. If you ask the question, ``Should we send money to countries that don't like us and disrespect us?'' 80 to 90 percent of the American people are with me.
They are afraid to vote on this issue. I have been giving them a chance to debate this for 6 weeks now. We have spent the whole week up here not having a debate because they do not want to have a vote because they know if they vote their position, which is to send your money to Pakistan and to Egypt and to Libya, the American people will not like it. So they are not willing to stand in the broad daylight and vote to continue this aid. They just do not want to have the vote.
Last evening the majority leader said that his concern is over the veterans benefits bill. I also am concerned, so I have reconsidered my amendment. My amendment before would return the money to the Treasury and to counteract the debt. We would take the somewhere between $3 and $4 billion and send it back to the Treasury. But if what is holding this up is that the majority leader thinks this is not in any way connected with veterans benefits, why don't we take half of the $4 billion that we would not send to Pakistan, let's take that half of that and put that into veterans benefits. I am willing to triple the size of the veterans benefits bill if we will take the money from where we should not be spending it.
Some will stand and they will argue: Gosh, we have to be engaged in Pakistan because they have nuclear weapons. I am not saying disengage. I am just saying you don't have to bribe people to be our friend. We don't have the money anyway. We have to borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan. I am not saying don't have relations with Pakistan. Many in Pakistan have been sympathetic to our country. Many in Pakistan have helped our country. But many in Pakistan, with a wink and a nod, look at us, take our money and laugh at us. They cash our check and they laugh at us.
The American people are tired of this. Our Treasury is bare. There is a multitude of reasons why we should not continue to send good money after bad. Compound that with the tragedy that has occurred over the last couple of days, the tragedy of our Ambassador being assassinated in Libya and three of his fellow workers killed; the tragedy of our embassy being attacked in Egypt. We give Egypt $3 billion a year, and do you know what. Egypt cannot protect or will not protect our embassy. There was a phone call to the embassy from someone in Egypt saying the mob is coming. A phone call is not enough. Do you think they could have sent soldiers and tanks to protect our embassy? They gave us a phone call saying the mob is coming.
Egypt needs to act as our ally if they want to continue to cash our checks. My position is: Not one penny more for Libya or Egypt or Pakistan until they act as our allies. Some say we have to keep sending it. Fine, let's send it when they act as our allies. Let's send it when they start behaving as civilized nations and come to their senses.
I have an amendment, and I am going to ask unanimous consent to bring this amendment forward. I may be surprised, but I think the other side is going to object. I will be asking for 15 minutes of the Senate's time to vote on ending this aid. Instead, we are taking half of the $4 billion we are squandering overseas and giving to people who don't like us and putting it toward the deficit and using the other half of that aid and putting it into veterans' benefits.
If we are really talking about veterans' benefits and really serious about providing money for the veterans, let's take it from an area which is insulting to veterans. Let's take it from a country that insults every veteran in this country, Pakistan. Our men and women gave their lives to fight a war in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan to get the chief architect of 9/11, bin Laden. Let's memorialize those people who sacrificed their lives and the veterans by saying we are not going to give money to a country that disrespects and disavows everything we have done over the last 10 years to combat terrorism.
I ask unanimous consent we resume consideration of S. 3457, set aside the pending amendments, and call up my amendment No. 2838.
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