Washington: A $25 million sanctioned for Pakistan for promoting democracy and gender studies, among other foreign aid items tucked into the 5000-page spending bill that also contains the $900 billion Covid-19 stimulus package, has triggered outrage among Americans, articularly right wing media, as they see Congressional indifference to their suffering from the pandemic, reports Times of India.
Already furious about the modest $600 per individual stimulus check provided for in the stimulus bill, Americans — including some lawmakers and activists — are poring over the $2.3 trillion omnibus spending package passed on Monday and identifying foreign aid they say is unnecessary and wasteful at this time. Ridiculing the notion that Washington is putting “America First,” critics of the package are calling for a bipartisan movement against foreign aid, saying “it’s time other countries printed their own money.”
Some Republican lawmakers are urging President Trump to veto the spending bill, which was passed 92-6 by the Senate on Monday, saying that is is too rushed and adds too much to America’s debt. In fact, some lawmakers divvied up the massive 5000-page bill among staffers to identify what is commonly referred to as “pork barrel spending” — legislators slipping in funding for pet programs whose economic or service benefits are concentrated in a particular area but whose costs are spread among all taxpayers.
Among the domestic items in the bill critics raged against is funding for two new Smithsonian museums. “I’m reading this bill and can I just say I’m so glad that $89,615,280 is going towards maintenance and furniture for the Senate office buildings,” fumed one critic.
But it is the foreign aid component in the spending bill — including for Washington’s closest ally Israel and Sudan besides Pakistan– that is attracting the most outrage.