US House bill targets aid to Pakistan

July 26, 2011

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The legislation will provide $47.2 billion in the next budget year, including $7.6 billion for the Global War on Terror fund.-File photo

WASHINGTON: Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed a foreign aid bill Tuesday that would restrict President Barack Obama's authority to provide US money to Pakistan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority while cutting money for international organisations.

The legislation would provide $47.2 billion in the next budget year, including $7.6 billion for the Global War on Terror fund.

That money pays for security forces and police in Iraq and backs up civilian programs for counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan. The overall bill is $8.6 billion less than current spending.

The bill would bar civilian and security aid to Pakistan unless the US secretary of state can certify to Congress that Islamabad is pursuing terrorists and helping investigate how al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden hid for years inside Pakistan.

The measure presses the Obama administration for evidence of cooperation against terrorists by Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority before providing US aid.

''We have established tough oversight and accountability measures that will make sure my constituents' tax dollars are not wasted overseas while making sure we support our national security priorities and key allies,'' said Republican Rep. Kay Granger, the subcommittee's chairwoman.

The bill would cut US contributions to the United Nations and trim spending for the US Agency for International Development.

The subcommittee will consider the legislation on Wednesday.