H.R. 1886: Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009

H.R. 1886

Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009

Date
June 11, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 1886 will be considered under a structured rule. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) on April 2, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1886 authorizes $1.5 billion annually between Fiscal Years 2010 and 2013, for economic and developmental assistance to Pakistan.  The bill also authorizes $300 million in Fiscal Year 2010, and such sums as may be necessary through 2013, in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism assistance. The bill authorizes $400 million in Fiscal Year 2010, for other security assistance to Pakistan.

Pakistan Democracy and Prosperity Fund: Establishes a permanent Pakistan Democracy and Prosperity Fund to provide social and economic development assistance to Pakistan.  H.R. 1886 authorizes $1.5 billion annually in civilian assistance for the Fund through 2013. The assistance would support Pakistan's democratic institutions, including its parliament, public education, and complement national and regional health care initiatives.

 Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund:  Establishes a Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund to provide counterinsurgency and counterterrorism assistance to Pakistan.  For this purpose, the bill authorizes $300 million in Fiscal Year 2010. 

Security Assistance for Pakistan:  Authorizes $400 million per year for Fiscal Year 2010, and such sums as may be necessary for Fiscal Years 2011-2013 for other security assistance to Pakistan.  Of this amount, $4 million a year would be provided for assistance under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program in Fiscal Year 2010, and such sums as may be necessary from Fiscal Years 2011-2013.  H.R. 1886 also authorizes the Secretary of State to establish a Pakistan Military Transition Program, an exchange program between military and civilian personnel of Pakistan, countries in transition to democracy, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries.

Limitation on Military Assistance:  Contains several limitations on military assistance to Pakistan.  H.R. 1886 prohibits certain military assistance to Pakistan after 2010, unless the President determines that the Pakistani government is continuing to cooperate with the United States in nonproliferation efforts and has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and making progress toward combating terrorist groups.  Specifically, the bill requires the President to determine that Pakistan is making progress toward ceasing support for extremist and terrorist groups. The bill further requires the President to determine that Pakistan is closing terrorist camps and preventing cross border attacks into Afghanistan or India.  The bill also bars the use of these funds to buy or upgrade F-16 fighter jets, with the exception of money to finish a 2006 deal to upgrade some Pakistani planes.  The measure allows the president to waive the conditions stated above if he determined it "important" to U.S. national security interests.

Nuclear Proliferation:  Requires the President to make a determination that the Pakistani government is continuing to cooperate with the U.S. in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to nuclear weapons materials, including providing direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks.

Regional Security Strategy:  Requires the President to develop a comprehensive regional security strategy to eliminate terrorist threats and close safe havens in Pakistan.  It also mandates a monitoring and evaluation program for non-military assistance and requires that all assistance and payment-related information flow through elected civilian authorities.

Duty-Free Treatment:  Includes a provision offering duty-free treatment for certain goods from "Reconstruction Opportunity Zones" in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  This section is meant to stimulate economic development in Afghanistan and the border region of Pakistan which meet certain conditions.  The President would be authorized to proclaim duty-free treatment for goods from these zones.  According to the Ways and Means Committee Republican staff, this provision would have no commercial benefit because it limits product eligibility.

The bill establishes protections against unlawful transshipment of goods including Afghan and Pakistani cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  H.R. 1886 authorizes $10 million annually for Fiscal Years 2010-2013 for CBP to assist Pakistan and Afghanistan with efforts to prevent unlawful transshipment.  The cost of this provision is $105 million over a ten years and are paid for by increasing certain Customs user fees.

Sunset:  All authorities in the bill, other than the Democracy and Prosperity Fund and the duty-free treatment provisions, will expire in September 2013.

Background

Despite Republican opposition at markup, the Committee on Foreign Affairs reported H.R. 1886, as amended by voice vote, on May 20, 2009.

Pakistan currently faces an extremist insurgency from Taliban elements in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATAs) and the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. Al Qaeda also uses these areas as safe havens from which to launch attacks. While U.S. forces in Afghanistan are considered to be the main targets of the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Pakistan's western border areas, the extremists have increasingly shifted their focus to Pakistani government and military targets as well.

For Fiscal Year 2010, the President has requested roughly $1.6 billion in aid for Pakistan, including $1.1 billion in economic support and $298 million in military support. In Fiscal Year 2009, Congress provided $933 million to Pakistan, and an additional $500 million is pending in the supplemental expected to be considered this week by the House. Since 2001, the U.S. has contributed over $12 billion to Pakistan.

Members may be concerned with several provisions in the bill. H.R. 1886 contains limitations on how the Executive Branch may use grant assistance under the Foreign Military Sales program, for example. According to Secretary of Defense Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen, "The Department of Defense has strong concerns regarding H.R. 1886. The degree of conditionality and limitations on security assistance to Pakistan, specifically on equipment allowed and disallowed under this authorization, severely constrains the flexibility necessary for the Executive Branch and the Department of Defense given the fluid and dynamic environment that exists in Pakistan."

Additionally, the legislation suggests that the American taxpayer will be responsible for education assistance in Pakistan including such detailed allocations as "food assistance for student meals," increased teacher salaries, and "formalized salary scales with merit-based pay increases." The bill also requires that all direct payments and U.S. requests for information be made through civilian authorities. Members have questioned whether this requirement will be unduly burdensome to implement, even if well-intentioned.

Committee Republicans offered a substitute Pakistan measure which was not adopted by the Majority during markup of the legislation. The alternative would have required the President submit to Congress a comprehensive interagency strategy and implementation plan for U.S. efforts to eliminate safe havens and assist toward the long-term security and stability in Pakistan. Additionally, the GOP substitute would fully fund the Administration's pending request for nonmilitary assistance to Pakistan ($1.5 billion) and provide such sums as may be deemed necessary through 2013. This approach sought to ensure Congressional oversight and notification while keeping pace with changing conditions on the ground and changes in strategy and implementation. Finally, the Republican substitute would fully fund the Administration's request for the new Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF).

 

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing H.R. 1886 will cost $9.1 billion over five years, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.

Amendments

1)    Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):  The substitute amendment strikes all after the enacting clause and inserts the text of the "United States-Pakistan Security and Stability Act."  The substitute would fully fund the Administration's request for non-military assistance to Pakistan ($1.5 billion) for Fiscal Year 2010 and provides "such sums" as may be necessary through 2013.  It also requires that the Administration submit a comprehensive interagency strategy and implementation plan, requires quarterly briefings on developments, as well as written notification to the Congress of adjustments in strategy and related changes in allocations and expenditures.