Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken not to send $64 million in aid to Afghanistan, warning that the Taliban is likely to intercept it given their flawed record.
Paul said approving the foreign aid would be "foolish" with the Taliban in control.
The Biden Administration announced it is sending the aid to Afghanistan through the United Nations and partner aid organizations.
"The Taliban has a history of taking this throughout their governance, they would take the money," Paul said on Tuesday during a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Afghanistan withdrawal. "This was a big complaint we had when they were in power the last time. They now have $80 billion worth of weapons, 350,000 automatic weapons. Are we really naive enough to believe that we're just going to keep sending charity to Afghanistan, and they're not going to interrupt it? I think that's a foolish notion."
Paul added that there is about $10 billion in foreign aid previously allotted for Afghanistan that has not been distributed. He asked Blinken if he could commit to not sending those taxpayer funds there.
"Absent the Taliban making good on the commitments and expectations of the international community that I've outlined previously, that's correct," Blinken replied.
Paul suggested subtracting the $10 billion from the $80 billion of U.S. weaponry that has fallen in the hands of the Taliban during the troop withdrawal.
"The fact that you're entertaining good behavior that they'll get more money, I think, is a big mistake and a naive notion that we're going to somehow change this stone age philosophy by giving them more of our money," Paul said. "I hope you won't release the money, and I think it would be a big mistake."