Congressional demands are building for the United States to yank its aid from Pakistan until it answers questions about whether it knowingly harbored Osama bin Laden until U.S. forces killed the world's most reviled terrorist during a raid Sunday.
Although the Obama administration said it will continue to provide financial assistance, which President Barack Obama's 2012 budget sets at $3 billion, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe is proposing legislation to nix the aid until Pakistan proves it didn't know where bin Laden was.
"Pakistan has a lot of explaining to do,"the Texas Republican said.
Poe's Pakistan Foreign Aid Accountability Act would require the State Department to certify to Congress that Pakistan did not provide sanctuary for bin Laden.
Some members of Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner, say the aid should continue, those pressing to pull it range from Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey to Florida Republican Rep. Allen West.
West sent a letter to Rep. Kay Granger, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, stating, in part: "I think it is quite clear that unless we get a clear explanation of what the Government of Pakistan knew about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, all foreign aid from American taxpayers to this nation needs to cease."
West, an Iraq war veteran, also wrote: "We need to understand whether the Government of Pakistan was harboring Osama bin Laden for all these years. Further, did the Government of Pakistan always know where this terrorist was but instead did not want to bring him to justice in order to continue to receive foreign aid from the United States of America."
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