Foreign Policy magazine has obtained a draft of a house bill authored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL ), the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, and is duly horrified. Ros-Lehtinen seeks to defund Pakistan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Yemen and others by attaching stringent conditions to United States assistance that are not likely to be met.
The Pakistanis must prove that they are assisting in an investigation on who gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden. Lebanon will not receive assistance if a Hezbollah member occupies a top government or policy post (they dominate the cabinet).
The Palestinian Authority must terminate incitements in the media and in the schools while Yemen must be free of human rights abuses, it says.
Even if the draft passes the House in its present form, it must still be reconciled with the Senate version. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator John Kerrey of Massachusetts and ranking Republican Richard Lugar have totally different views on the subject, both in terms of conditioning foreign aid in general and about some of the target countries in particular.