US House okays foreign aid bill, $2.5b for Israel
President George W. Bush would get millions of dollars more than he requested for worldwide efforts to fight AIDS but less than he sought for Iraq reconstruction and a key program to encourage global development, under a bill the House of Representatives approved Friday. On a 358-39 vote, the House signed off on the spending package that provides $20.9 billion for foreign policy programs and provides financial aid to poor nations for health, education, counter-narcotics and military initiatives. The Senate is expected to approve the bill next week, sending the measure to the president for his signature. The bill also provides money for countries helping in the war on terrorism, including: $2.3 billion for military aid and $240 million for economic assistance for Israel. Egypt came in a distant second, with $1.3 billion for military aid and $495 million for economic assistance and earthquake-ridden Pakistan was set to receive $300 million.
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