Kerry-Lugar bill for Pak aid postponed indefinitely

April 3rd, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr. 3 (ANI): The hearing on the bipartisan Kerry-Lugar bill, which seeks 1.5 billion dollars of annual assistance to Pakistan for five years, has been postponed indefinitely.

The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had scheduled a full committee hearing on Wednesday, but it had to be postponed for technical reasons.

A congressional aide was quoted by the Dawn as saying, that the hearing has been postponed indefinitely.

“It will now be held after the April recess,” a source said.

The recess ends on April 20. This will further delay the passage of the bill, which has to be approved by the committee and a full Senate before being sent to the House of Representatives.

After its own hearing, the House will resend the bill to the Senate. The two chambers then have to reconcile their respective bills before it could be sent to President Barack Obama for signature.

According to the sources, by the time the bill is passed, it would be too late to include its recommendations in the budget for the next financial year.

The bill was originally introduced in the previous Congress as the Biden-Lugar bill, and was already approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

But the previous Congress completed its term before approving the bill, which now has to be reintroduced in the current Congress. (ANI)

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