Congress Okays $1.5 Billion in Pakistan Aid

Trillion-Dollar-Plus Omnibus Spending Bill Includes Controversial Aid Package

Following last week’s House vote, the Senate approved the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill today, paving the way for President Obama to sign the latest in a long series of massive spending packages.

Buried within the labyrinthine bill is the $1.5 billion for the “Kerry Lugar” aid bill that has been so controversial within Pakistan for attempting to give the US President formal oversight over Pakistan’s judiciary and relations between the nation’s military and civilian government.

The $1.5 billion will be chiefly in the form of economic subsidies, but will also include money for law enforcement. It is in addition to the $268 million in direct funding for the Pakistani military and the $1.6 billion “Coalition Support Fund” that pays the Pakistani military for infrastructure provided for the Afghan War. An additional $700 million is intended to be send to the military to pay for border security as well.

Pakistan’s military has opposed accepting the $1.5 billion with the current strings attached, but it has been suggested that the Obama Administration might issue a signing statement promising not to enforce the provisions of the bill.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.