WASHINGTON (CN) – Congress authorized the tripling of U.S. aid to Pakistan Wednesday, bringing the sum to $1.5 billion a year to help “solidify a democratic government” as it struggles to quell violent extremism within its borders.
Foreign Relations Committee Chair Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) applauded the bill, saying it would help Pakistan combat al Qaeda and other violent extremists, and that it would help to “solidify a democratic government.”
Just last May, alarm spread through Congress after the Taliban fought their way to within 60 miles of Islamabad, the capital of the nuclear-armed country.
The increase in non-military aid would be applied during each fiscal year from 2010 to 2014.
Both the House and the Senate approved the bill. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
President Barack Obama, who called for an increase in funds to Pakistan back in March, must now sign the bill.