Udall fights effort to end aid to Libya

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., might attempt a filibuster on a government spending bill this week to send a message to Libya in the wake of the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi.

Paul is asking to cut off aid to Libya. A bill that funds the government into April and prevents a federal government shut down, easily passed through the House last week.

In a letter to his colleagues, Paul called for funding only cooperative countries. “The bill should send a strong clear message to these entities: You do not get foreign aid unless are an unwavering ally of the United States,” Paul wrote.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who serves on the Select Committee on Intelligence, attended a closed-door meeting last week with Gen. David Petraeus after the attacks.

In an interview with The Durango Herald, Udall criticized Paul’s filibuster attempt: “These isolationist tendencies have never served us well,” he said. “They’re understandable from one point of view, but we need to stay engaged in the region.”

He also said that while the controversial YouTube video critical of the Prophet Muhummad sparked the recent uprisings abroad, it was not the sole cause.

“There had to be twists and turns in these countries considering the way these dictators completely hollowed them out,” he said. He added a power vacuum “has allowed small numbers of violently inclined people to take part in these protests.”

Leigh Giangreco is an intern for The Durango Herald and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at lgiangreco@durangoherald.com .

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