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Sen. Graham defends US giving millions to Pakistani ‘gender programs,’ as Americans get a whopping $600

Conservatives held such high hopes for Lindsey 2.0 after the no-holds-barred brawl over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2018.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., grabbed the spotlight after rightly and appropriately slamming Democrats for their shameful treatment of Kavanaugh. At times since then, Graham has elevated his game to show that the old, milquetoast, go-along-to-get-along Lindsey had evolved into a stout counterpuncher decidedly on the right.

But this week, the old Lindsey flashed before us.

One of the many fiscal insanities we are now discovering in the massive COVID-19 relief/omnibus spending bill that Congress overwhelmingly passed on Monday was the inclusion of $25 million for Pakistan.

The funding is divided between efforts to promote democracy ($15 million) and “gender programs” ($10 million).

On Fox News, Graham defended the aid package. He noted that foreign assistance comprises just 1 percent of the federal budget – which if you haven’t noticed is not in the neighborhood of $5 trillion – and that women have it hard in this particular Muslim country.

“Pakistan is a place I really worry about,” Graham said.

“Eighty-five countries a woman can’t open up a bank account without her husband’s signature. She can’t inherit property. If you’re a young girl in Pakistan life is pretty tough. So we’re trying to make life better for women throughout the world.” he said.

If the criticism continues, mostly over the fact that Americans got $600 each as their government dispatched tens of millions of dollars to overseas interests, expect Graham and other defenders of this line item to start noting that’s not that much money, since it averages out to about 10 cents per woman in Pakistan.

On its website, the U.S. Agency for International Development explains what it does with taxpayers’ money overseas.

According to USAID’s website, in Pakistan specifically, under the heading of “Gender Equality and Female Empowerment,” U.S. taxpayers have helped 35,000 Pakistani women learn livestock management and horticulture, which has helped “create full-time equivalent jobs for women in agriculture and agribusinesses,” helped them obtain jobs in power plants and taught them the intricacies of “trade policy formulation.”

America also has funded health, legal, and counseling services to approximately 61,000 female survivors of gender-based violence there, paid for more than 6,600 higher education scholarships to young women in Pakistan, trained 196 public prosecutors on laws protecting women’s rights and gender issues, financed more than 50,000 women entrepreneurs, assisted in a “national identity card registration” for approximately 1.5 million women to promote women’s voting rights and trained almost 16,000 female political party representatives.

This may be all well and good, but the average American likely won’t see why it’s our business to interfere in how other countries manage their affairs, or the utility of helping the country that for years shielded the world’s most notorious terrorist who was responsible for killing 3,000 Americans in one attack.

U.S Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., may have put it best, tweeting “Congress should get the economy open in America before getting gender programs funded in Pakistan. The Uniparty that writes these bills is America Last to the core.”

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