US Senate passes 60bn funding for Afghan war
WASHINGTON Ã¢â‚¬â€ The US Senate has passed a supplementary funding bill worth some 60 billion dollars to finance the conflict in Afghanistan and other key projects including aid to quake-hit Hait.
The measure approved late Thursday by a 67-28 margin offers 33 billion dollars to fund President Barack Obama’s surge of 30,000 more troops into the Afghan conflict, announced in December.
Lawmakers also passed an economic and military aid package worth a total of 349 million dollars for Pakistan, a key ally for Washington in the conflict that is facing its own threats from extremists.
For Haiti, the 2.8-billion-dollar package, including 913 million dollars in economic aid, is destined to support the impoverished Caribbean nation that remains in desperate straits after the January earthquake, which left more than 1.3 million people homeless and claimed up to 300,000 lives.
In the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, senators approved an amendment from Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu to expedite coastal development projects that are already in the works.
Amid warnings that 2010 could bring one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, the bill also provided 5.1 billion dollars to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is responsible for managing the response to natural disasters.
The House of Representatives must still adopt its own version of the bill, and the two texts must be merged before being sent to Obama for his signature.
Lawmakers in the lower chamber are expected to take up the measure late next week.