A foreign aid bill authorizing $11.4 billion in fiscal 1988 and 1989 faces an uncertain future in the Senate after passing the House when amendments on nuclear weapon development in India and Pakistan were dropped.
With Congress striving to adjourn for the year at the end of next week, it is unlikely the Senate will act on the bill, but many of its provisions are contained in a catchall money bill that must be passed before adjournment.
The House avoided a potentially explosive debate Thursday when amendments concerning development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and India were withdrawn.
Most of the funds -- $8.9 billion -- are for security aid, both direct military assistance and economic support funds. Under the bill, Israel would receive the largest amount, $1.8 billion in military and $1.2 billion in economic aid, while Egypt would receive $1.3 billion in military and $815 million in economic aid.
Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.) had planned to offer an amendment to cut off aid to Pakistan if that country proceeded with development of nuclear-weapons capability. That amendment was not offered and, instead, the House approved by voice vote an amendment calling on the president to report to Congress on the extent to which Pakistan is working with other nations to develop nuclear weapons.
The $11.45 billion authorized for 1988 foreign assistance programs is $50 million less than the 1987 appropriation and $600 million less than President Reagan requested.
Rep. William S. Broomfield (Mich.), senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that the president would likely veto the bill if it reaches his desk in its current form. He said the bill's "numerous restrictions, limitations, restraints would make it very difficult for the president to conduct foreign policy."