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World

Trump urges Congress to amend 'wasteful' coronavirus aid bill, slams funding for foreign special interests

  • President Trump berated the relief package, stating that "Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it".
  • The government spending package contains tens of millions of dollars allocated for “gender” and “democracy” programs in Pakistan.
Updated 23 Dec 2020

President Trump has urged the United States Congress to amend a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, to more than triple its stimulus payments to ordinary Americans.

In a video message posted on Twitter, he stated that the package "really is a disgrace", and full of "wasteful" items, adding that "It's called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid", arguing that the money should be allocated to struggling Americans.

President Trump berated the relief package, stating that "Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it".

Further providing context to the egregious degrees of spending, the President added that "This bill contains $85.5m for assistance to Cambodia, $134m to Burma, $1.3bn for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25m for democracy and gender programmes in Pakistan, $505m to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama".

The government spending package contains tens of millions of dollars allocated for “gender” and “democracy” programs in Pakistan, including $10 million going to “gender programs” and $15 million for “democracy programs” in Pakistan.

According to the bipartisan coronavirus relief bill, $500 million have been allocated for Israeli Cooperative Programs, predominantly within the realm of defense and military hardware.

Section 8072 of the relief bill indicates that this sum, which falls under the headings "Procurement, Defense-Wide" and "Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide", are sub-divided into specific allocations, which are as follows:

  • $73 million allocated by the Secretary of Defense for the Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome Defense System, to counter short-range rocket threats, under the terms of the U.S-Israel Iron Dome Procurement Agreement.
  • $177 million allocated for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Program (SRBMD), for cruise missile defense research and development, and to "meet Israel's defense requirements consistent with each country's laws, regulations and procedures".
  • $77 million for the upper-tier component to the Israeli Missile Defense Architecture.
  • $173 million allocated for the development of a long-range ground and airborne detection suite.
Screenshot taken of Section 8072 of the bipartisan coronavirus relief bill.
Screenshot taken of Section 8072 of the bipartisan coronavirus relief bill.

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