DATE=6/22/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SENATE-FOREIGN AID (L) NUMBER=2-263672 BYLINE=DAVID SWAN DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A long-delayed package of U-S aid may soon be en route to Colombia to help that country battle the narcotic trade. The Senate has approved the plan (Thursday) as part of a larger foreign aid bill. V-O-A's David Swan has details. TEXT: The foreign assistance measure, with Colombia's money attached, passed by an overwhelming (95 to four) bipartisan vote. While it now includes 934-million dollars for Bogota, Republicans have agreed to boost the total to one-point-three billion in a compromise with the House of Representatives. House and Senate leaders hope to settle their remaining differences fast - so the aid to Colombia, which was held up for months, could reach President Clinton's desk as soon as next week. The funds would go for helicopters, training and other support for Colombia's armed forces and police. Critics fear the United States is being drawn into a violent, never-ending conflict and is subsidizing an army with a dismal human rights record. Republican Senator Paul Coverdell, who strongly supports the aid, acknowledged the fight against the traffickers will not be easy. // Coverdell act // I think those that expressed concerns had valid arguments to make. This is a precarious work, a very hostile and a very adversarial environment. An evil enemy. And there are going to be imperfections as we move forward. // end act // Still, the plan is recieving strong support in the Clinton administration and the Republican-led Congress. Mr. Coverdell notes the amount of money bound for Colombia makes it the third largest recipient of U-S aid, behind Israel and Egypt. The Senate foreign assistance bill would give Israel two-point-eight billion dollars in the next fiscal year, with Egypt recieving two-billion. Russia's aid would depend on whether Moscow cooperates in investigating war crimes and providing relief to Chechyna. The overall foreign aid package totals 13- point-four billion dollars, one-point-seven billion less than the president asked. (Signed) NEB/DS/PT 22-Jun-2000 17:44 PM EDT (22-Jun-2000 2144 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .