We shouldn’t be giving them one cent, but a $650 million cut is a good start.
(Politico) — The House agreed to a $650 million cut from Pakistan military aid Wednesday night as Republicans sought to tamp down demands for still deeper reductions because of conservative anger at the Islamabad government.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) first came to the floor demanding a $1.3 billion cut and initially won the endorsement of Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who was managing the defense bill on the floor. But ultimately a cut of $650 million was settled upon with the intention of reducing Pakistan’s funds by half.
Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, appeared to agree to the compromise, since it was approved by a voice vote. And the end result is to conform with prior cuts agreed to this spring as part of a defense authorization bill.
Nonetheless, the fresh cut follows on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent efforts to bridge the gap with Pakistan. And the combination of Poe’s inflammatory rhetoric and Young’s cheerful endorsement was not a reassuring for the Obama administration as it tries to rebuild relations.
“It is time for a new strategy with Pakistan,” said Poe, who described Pakistan as a “Benedict Arnold” nation. “More money is not going to solve the problem. … Pakistan is playing America.”