Senate kills Rand Paul's attempted block on aircraft sale to Pakistan
© Francis Rivera
Senators voted 71-24 to table the Kentucky Republican's attempt to bring the resolution to the Senate floor, effectively pigeonholing the measure and guaranteeing the sale will go forward. 
Paul suggested ahead of the vote that Americans couldn't afford to be sending the jets to Pakistan, which he called a "frenemy." 
"We've got a lot of things going on in our country that need to be taken care of, and we don't have enough money to be sending it to Pakistan," he said on the Senate floor. "I can't in good conscience look away as American crumbles at home and politicians tax us to send the money to corrupt and duplicitous regimes abroad."
Paul wanted to use an overlooked provision in the Arms Export Control Act to force a vote and block the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. The move required him to give the Foreign Relations Committee 10 days to take up his resolution before he could try to bring it to the Senate floor. 
But Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report McConnell: We may 'be in the early stages' of a trade war MORE (R-Tenn.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate passes resolution honoring victims of Capital Gazette shooting Biden rallies Dem support for progressive Md. governor candidate Dem lawmakers join nationwide protests against Trump immigration policies MORE (D-Md.), the committee's top members, urged lawmakers to vote against Paul's resolution, suggesting that the U.S. government can use the sale to influence Pakistan.
"It maintains our leverage with Pakistan over the long haul. That's what us selling them these pieces of equipment do," Corker said, noting that the jets will require 30 years of maintenance.
He added that despite "some of the rhetoric," Thurday's vote "has nothing to do with the potential subsidy that could take place by U.S. taxpayers."
Cardin told reporters during a roundtable Wednesday that, separately, there has been a request from the administration to move around funds to use some taxpayer money to cover the sale, but Congress hasn't made a decision yet. 
"That will require our approval and we have not yet taken that up," he added, while saying that Paul's resolution would get "uniform opposition" from leadership.
Paul, however, was able to get bipartisan support for his push to stop the sale.
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Warren on Trump's NATO jabs: He seems 'all too happy' to help Putin MORE (D-Conn.) said Congress has "got to get back in the game" of providing oversight to arms sales, while suggesting that there are other ways to influence the sale of military equipment short of a blanket block.
"I hope that Sen. Paul and others as we start to go about doing due diligence of future sales will take a look at maybe a more meaningful contribution that this body can take rather than expressing our outright unconditional disapproval," he said.