Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, whose committee has jurisdiction over foreign arms sales, said he will maintain a hold on the US subsidy for the jets over Pakistan's "duplicity" in the US-backed war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"They take our money, take our arms and laugh in our face," Paul said, adding later: "Pakistan is at best a frenemy — part friend and a lot enemy."
Both Corker, R-Tenn., and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, have a hold on the US subsidy, aimed at applying pressure on Pakistan. Corker did not specify what actions Pakistan can take to lift the hold.
"I have issues with Pakistan too," Corker said. "It's actually a difference of tactics. I'd like to try to encourage some behavior changes and I think withholding the financial component is a much better way of doing that."
"These operations are in the national interests of Pakistan, the United States, NATO, and in the interest of the region more broadly," David McKeeby, a spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said in a statement.
Joe Gould is the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He served previously as Congress reporter.