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Congress Passes Stimulus Bill With $10M+ For ‘Gender Programs’ In Pakistan

Washington, DC – A new federal stimulus package passed by both houses of Congress late Monday night included a staggering $25 million earmarked for “democracy” and “gender programs” in Pakistan.

The dumbfounding budget item was one of many provisions buried within the 5,593-page package, which had a $1.4 trillion spending bill tacked on top, KKTV reported.

Meanwhile, U.S. citizens may be entitled to a stimulus check not to exceed $600.

The relief package includes assistance for businesses and funding to help roll out vaccines to residents throughout the nation, according to KVIA.

The legislation set aside “not less than” $10 million for “gender programs” and an additional $15 million for “democracy programs,” although it did not specify what those programs would entail, KMGH reported.

Pakistan currently ranks second lowest in the world for gender equality, according to FOX News.

Nearly $179 million will be used to assist Vietnam, at least $14.5 million of which “shall be made available for health and disability programs in areas sprayed with Agent Orange,” the bill reads.

A total of $700 million will go to Sudan, while another $198.3 million will be “made available for assistance for Bangladesh,” to include $23.5 million earmarked for “democracy programs.”

Ukraine will get $453 million in “assistance” from the U.S., Georgia will receive over $132 million, and Venezuela is slated to get “not less than” $33 million “for democracy programs.”

Hundreds of millions more will be funded to multiple other countries, including Columbia, Belize Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala, among others.

Sri Lanka will receive up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter” ship, according to the bill.

The government spending bill and coronavirus relief package also contained smaller bills focused on renewable energy and climate change in the U.S., to include funneling $10 million into providing financial help to “rural communities to further develop renewable energy,” and the establishment of a Climate Security Advisory Council, KMGH reported.

Targeting horse racing safety was also a priority issue contained in the package, according to FOX News.

Lawmakers set aside funding to establish two new Smithsonian Museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum, KMGH reported.

Extending tax breaks for NASCAR was also a priority issue included in the bill.

Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) said he voted against the package for a multitude of reasons, including a COVID-19 relief program he believes “is overly broad,” KKTV reported.

“For example, this legislation includes a $300 weekly federal supplemental unemployment benefit that will unfortunately make one half of Americans receive more by staying home than if they went back to their jobs,” Lamborn said.

“This is a not a way to effectively legislate,” he continued. “This omnibus is the longest bill in history, numbering 5593 pages, and the second largest spending bill.”

“To make matters worse, the full text of this bill was not released until hours before Members were expected to vote on its content,” Lamborn said, according to KKTV. “In the future, we must allow Members of Congress to engage in negotiation and debate, not craft legislation in secret behind closed doors in the 11th hour, just days before Christmas. This year the process failed. Moving forward we must do better.”

The White House has indicated President Donald Trump plans to sign off on the bipartisan legislation, KVIA reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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