Paul to force vote on blocking military equipment sale to Pakistan

Francis Rivera

Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office Trump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Trump flexes new digital muscle MORE (R-Ky.) will force a vote this week to block a sale of military equipment to Pakistan. 

The Kentucky Republican is using a provision in the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) to bring his resolution of disapproval to the Senate floor for a vote. 
 
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According to a Congressional Research Service report, the Kentucky Republican only has to give the Foreign Relations Committee 10 calendar days before he can use the little-known loophole to bring it back before the full Senate. 
 
Paul introduced his resolution late last month. A spokesman for the Kentucky Republican confirmed to The Hill that he expects the resolution to come to the floor this week. 
 
The AECA lays out an expedited process for the Senate to consider Paul's resolution, including limiting total debate to 10 hours. The Kentucky senator, however, could still face procedural hurdles before he gets a final vote.
 
Paul's maneuver is the first time a senator has used the loophole to try to force a floor vote in decades. 
 
Paul told the conservative news site Rare, which appears to have first reported his plans, that he will "be forcing votes on any arm sales to Pakistan" until the country releases Shakil Afridi, who aided the CIA's plot to kill Osama bin Laden, and Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy. 
 
"Pakistan has been an uncertain ally as far as the War on Terrorism goes," he told Rare. "We have no business sending hundreds of millions of dollars overseas, and fueling an arms race at the same time.”
 
The administration has defended the sale of the F-16 fighter jets, suggesting it will help bolster Pakistan's security. 
 
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has introduced a similar resolution in the House. 
 
—This report was updated at 2:47 p.m.

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