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Paul filibuster ties up vet jobs bill vote

Sept. 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A filibuster to gain support for the release of the doctor who helped locate Osama bin Laden held up a vote on the Veterans Job Corps bill in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said his filibuster Wednesday was to draw attention to his call for Pakistani leaders to release Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find bin Laden, Politico reported Thursday.

Paul had said he would stall Senate action until the doctor is released from jail in Pakistan, something the government has said it would not do. Paul also called on the Obama administration to block aid to Pakistan until Afridi is released.

Afridi was linked to the CIA operation to verify bin Laden's whereabouts with a door-to-door vaccination campaign in Abbottabad, where the al-Qaida founder was hiding before he was killed. The doctor recently was convicted by a tribal court and sentenced to 33 years in prison.

The jobs bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, would create a veterans jobs training program at a cost of $1 billion over five years.

Paul also said the United States should end aid to Libya following the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, Politico reported.

"I do this because I think it's important for our allies to act like allies," Paul said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., disagreed, saying a veterans jobs bill wasn't the proper vehicle for a political play.

"I think my friend from Kentucky should have run for secretary of state rather than the Senate," Reid said.

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