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SLUG: 2-326072 Congress / Foreign (L-O)
TITLE=CONGRESS / FOREIGN (L-O)
HEADLINE: US Senate Approves Bill To Fund Foreign Operations
INTRO: The U.S. Senate has approved (by a vote of 98 to one) a 31-point-seven billion dollar package to fund foreign operations, including economic and political aid to countries around the world. VOA's Deborah Tate reports from Capitol Hill.
TEXT: The bill funds State Department functions and international organizations, bolsters security at U.S. embassies and other diplomatic facilities, and seeks to strengthen public diplomacy by funding international broadcasting and educational and cultural programs.
The measure provides funds for nonproliferation and anti-terrorism programs. It includes assistance to a number of key nations, including U.S. partners in the war on terrorism.
For example, Pakistan would receive nearly 700 million dollars in economic and military aid and Afghanistan would receive 920 million dollars in economic and political assistance under the bill.
The legislation provides over a billion dollars to support international peacekeeping operations.
It includes money for fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, for combating drug trafficking, and for promoting democracy around the world.
Senator Bill Frist is Senate Majority Leader:
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"America's national security depends on our ability to integrate and coordinate all of the elements of our national power. It includes diplomacy, intelligence, economic strength, and military might. The foreign operations bill advances those efforts and demonstrates our generosities and our priorities."
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The House of Representatives approved their version of the legislation last month. Differences in the two bills will have to be reconciled before a final measure is sent to President Bush for his signature. (Signed)
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