House Panel Weighs Bill Restricting Foreign Aid

July 20, 2011 - 9:59 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel is pushing ahead on a bill to block all U.S. assistance to Pakistan unless the Obama administration reassures Congress that Islamabad is cooperating in the war on terrorism.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday began consideration of the legislation that would cut $6.4 billion from President Barack Obama's request of $51 billion for the State Department and foreign operations in the next budget.

Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the bill puts Pakistan on notice that it's no longer business as usual. The bill would bar civilian and security aid to Pakistan unless the secretary of state can certify to Congress that Islamabad is pursuing terrorists in their midst and helping the U.S. in investigate how Osama bin Laden managed to live unscathed deep inside Pakistan.