Saturday, July 11, 2009

US Spends Foreign Policy Money Yet Has no Policy

WASHINGTON, July 10: The US House of Representatives has approved a $48.8 billion spending bill to bolster US foreign policy, which includes $1.5 billion for Pakistan. The legislation, passed on Thursday, also includes $2.7 billion in foreign aid for Afghanistan and $2.2 billion for Israel.

Both chambers of the US Congress have separately approved legislation to triple US assistance to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year. The Senate version, known as the Kerry-Lugar bill, now has to be reconciled with the House version, which seeks strict conditions for providing economic and military assistance to Pakistan.

The measure approved by the House on Thursday is called functional 150, which approves State Departments’ budget for foreign assistance.

The Kerry-Lugar is an authorisation bill while Thursday’s measure is an appropriation bill. The Kerry-Lugar authorises the US president to provide assistance to Pakistan of up to $1.5 billion from 2009-10 to 2014.

Source: Pakistan Dawn

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