FACT CHECK: Once Again, Josh Mandel Is Attempting To Call Sherrod Un-American

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FACT CHECK: Once Again, Josh Mandel Is Attempting To Call Sherrod Un-American

JOSH CLAIMS: Sherrod has sent billions of our tax dollars to Pakistan, a country that harbors terrorists.

THE TRUTH:  Sherrod has voted to cut foreign aid to Pakistan, and Josh Mandel’s position on foreign aid is so extreme that both John McCain & AIPAC disagree with him. 

1. Sherrod voted to dramatically cut funding to Pakistan. [Reuters, 5/22/12]

2. John McCain agreed with Sherrod Brown that military aid to Pakistan is “in our interest” and John McCain joined with Sherrod Brown in voting against Sen. Paul Amendment that could have hurt aid to Israel. [Sen. McCain, Remarks at Center for Strategic and International Studies, 5/14/12; Vote 196, 9/22/12]

3. AIPAC agreed with Sherrod Brown’s and John McCain’s vote against Sen. Paul Amendment that could have hurt aid to Israel. [Congressional Record, 9/21/12, S6600; Vote 196, 9/22/12]

Senate Panel Voted To Cut Funding To Pakistan By 58%.  In May 2012, Reuters reported “The Senate panel voted to cut aid to Pakistan by 58 percent in fiscal 2013 from the request by the administration of President Barack Obama, said the panel’s chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy, who like Obama is a Democrat. The senators voted $1 billion for Pakistan, including $800 million in foreign aid. However, funding for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund was limited to just $50 million, and that money was tied to the supply lines’ reopening, said Senator Lindsey Graham, the panel’s top Republican. ‘We’re not going to be giving money to an ally that won’t be an ally,’ Graham told reporters.” [Reuters, 5/22/12]

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Voted To Cut Funding Because Pakistan Had Closed A Supply Route, But Using Other Supply Routes Would Have Cost More.  In May 2012, Reuters reported “The action by the Senate appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid followed a weekend NATO summit in Chicago at which Washington had hoped to reach a deal with Islamabad to end the supply line dispute. Pakistan closed the supply routes through its territory to Afghanistan in protest when U.S. aircraft killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border last November. NATO has been seeking to compensate via expanded shipments of war supplies via Afghanistan’s other neighbors but those routes are more expensive. [Reuters, 5/22/12]

Obama Administration Had Already Suspended $800 Million Last Year Which Could Be Restored If Pakistan Would Display More Commitment To Counter-Terrorism Operations.  In July 2011, NPR reported “The administration suspended $800 million in aid for Pakistan’s military last year but American officials have suggested the aid could be restored if Pakistan would display more commitment to counter-terrorism operations.” [NPR, 7/10/2011]

Sen. McCain: Pakistan Is A Vital Ally and I Hope We Don’t Make The Mistake Again Of Cutting Off Relations – “It Is In Our Interest To Aid Pakistan.  In a May 2012 speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sen. John McCain said “Pakistan is vital to United States national security interests for a broad variety of reasons, including the nuclear inventory that Pakistan has, including the fact that Pakistan’s role in the region is vital, not to mention relations with India. But we have to operate in our relations with Pakistan with the realization that the ISI has close relations with the Haqqani network, and they are carrying out activities that kill Americans. Now, that’s just an assessment that cannot be refuted by the facts, and it saddens me. We were talking earlier, just before this – (inaudible) – one of the gravest mistakes in recent history was the so-called Pressler Amendment, which basically cut off our military-to- military relations, and we are paying, still paying a very heavy price for. I think there are some who would argue that Pakistan is a failed state. I don’t argue that, but I do – could argue plausibly that the politics in Pakistan are very, very unsettled, to say the least. And it is in our interest to have good relations with Pakistan. It is in our interest to aid Pakistan and try to assist them to a better democracy and a lessening of corruption and a severing of relations between the ISI and the Haqqani network. But we cannot force it. If there is any lesson we should have to learn over and over again, we can’t force the Pakistani government and people to change their ways unless they want to. And it’s so disheartening sometimes to see the lack of progress towards a meaningful democracy and rule of law and all the things that we would hope that the Pakistanis might achieve. But whether we are successful in persuading them or not, Pakistan will remain a country that is vital to United States national security interests. I don’t have to draw for you the various scenarios of a breakdown in their government. So I hope we will continue to work with the Pakistanis in every possible way we can, but we must take a totally realistic approach to our relations with Pakistan.” [Sen. McCain, Remarks at Center for Strategic and International Studies, 5/14/12]

AIPAC Opposed Amendment Supported By Mandel and Only 10 Senators Because Of Concerns Over Aid To Israel.  In September 2012 on the Senate Floor, Sen. McCain said “I hope all of my colleagues will take note that AIPAC disagrees with the view of the Senator from Kentucky about the effect this legislation may have on aid to Israel.” The amendment only got 10 votes in in the Senate. [Congressional Record, 9/21/12, S6600; Vote 196, 9/22/12]

  • Amendment Opposed By AIPAC And Sen. MCain But The Amendment’s Author, Sen. Paul, Ran Ads Against Sherrod Brown Because Josh Mandel “Has Embraced Paul’s Position.” In October 2012, Gannett reported “The RANDPAC ad doesn’t specifically mention GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel, firing instead at Brown. But Mandel, currently Ohio’s state treasurer, has embraced Paul’s position and taken aim at Brown over the issue of foreign aid.” [Gannett, 10/17/12]