Congress may 're-evaluate' US funding for Pakistan: report
ress is weighing the amount of its aid package to Pakistan as lawmakers Tuesday demanded to know more about what Islamabad officials knew about Osama bin Laden's secret compound.
There was widespread bipartisan agreement that aid to Pakistan, which last fiscal year included $2.2 billion in military assistance, should be "re-evaluated," as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put it.
"It needs to be looked into," added House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
They and others stopped short of calling for an aid cutoff, which appeared unlikely. As Graham said, "It is better to engage with imperfect people."
Lawmakers were almost uniformly upset, skeptical -- and puzzled -- over what Pakistani officials knew about bin Laden's compound, which was only about a 75-mile drive from Islamabad.
Nevertheless, some lawmakers defended Pakistan.
"The fact is that even while all of this has been going on, they've allowed us to pursue our drone program," said Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, D-Mass., referring to the use of CIA drone aircraft to fire missiles at suspected terrorists in Pakistan, which is highly controversial there.
Still, lawmakers want answers. That process begins yesterday, when the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees question CIA Director Leon Panetta and other top officials familiar with Sunday's mission. (The Portland Press Herald)