The 112th Congress is focused on cost cutting measures to reduce the budget deficit. How it deals with the second ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan—which is important to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability—will be key. Pakistan has been among the leading recipients of U.S. foreign assistance both historically and in FY2010, and most experts list the country among the most strategically important for U.S. policy makers. Recent major developments—including the killing of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan—have put strains on bilateral relations, making uncertain the future direction of U.S. aid to Pakistan. For many lawmakers, the issue will be how to balance considerations about Pakistan’s strategic importance to the United States with the pervasive and mounting distrust in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and with budget deficit-reduction pressures.