Foreign Policy

Rand Paul To Force Vote On Ending Pakistan Arm Sales

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is using a little known Senate rule in order to force a vote on the State Department’s approval of a $700 million arms sale to Pakistan.

Sen. Paul is invoking the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 in an attempt to end the potential sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan, using an obscure provision that allows any senator to push a vote of disapproval.

According to the Congressional Research Service, after the senator introduces the resolution of disapproval, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has 10 days to report back to the Senate with its recommendation on the resolution.

If the committee doesn’t take up the measure within 10 days, the senator can move to secure a procedural floor vote.

The last time the act was invoked was in 1986 by former Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA), who forced a vote on banning arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

Paul introduced a resolution last month that would block the sale of arms to Pakistan. In addition, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has introduced a companion resolution in the House.

In a statement, Paul said,

Over the last few years we have seen that Pakistan is an uncertain ally when it comes to cooperating with the United States. As I travel in Kentucky, I meet countless individuals who are struggling to survive in this economy, we have no business sending hundreds of millions of dollars overseas.

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