Proposal taking shape in Senate to restore Egypt aid
January 13th, 2014
04:41 PM ET

Proposal taking shape in Senate to restore Egypt aid

By Elise Labott

The Senate is readying a proposal that aims to restore U.S. aid to Egypt, some of which was frozen after last year's ouster of President Mohamed Morsy, two Obama administration officials told CNN.

A provision that gives the White House flexibility to effectively eliminate restrictions on military and other assistance to countries facing a coup could be introduced as part of a spending bill as early as Monday.



The measure that would offer executive branch waivers to get around existing restrictions in law, in certain cases, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in December, but has not yet been considered by the full chamber.

The Obama administration has never labeled Morsy's removal from office a coup. But it froze some aid to Egypt last October following Morsy's ouster by the military and the subsequent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Aid totals $1.5 billion a year, $1.3 billion of which goes to the Egyptian military. The rest is economic assistance, some of which goes to the government and some goes to other groups.

The administration officials and congressional staffers supporting the bill said it struck the right balance between pushing Cairo to embrace democratic reforms and maintaining the U.S. commitment to Egypt.

Officials said the administration helped draft the language that was sponsored by Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, and ranking member Bob Corker, R-Tennessee.

American aid to Egypt is viewed as necessary for national security - primarily the relationship with Israel and the growing influence of al-Qaeda linked extremists in the Sinai.

While the bill is written with Egypt in mind, it could have wider implications for U.S. policy that bans aid to countries where a democratically elected head of state is removed in a coup or by the military.

By providing the administration with waivers to sidestep restrictions on aid, it sets a precedent for U.S. aid to any country after a coup.

Menendez has said suspending aid to Egypt did not serve the interests of Washington or Cairo given the scale and the strategic significance of the annual outlay to the longstanding Mideast ally.

Moreover, there was concern the aid cutoff could cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars due to contract defaults of military equipment earmarked for Egypt.

Under the proposal, the Egyptian government must meet certain security and economic assistance benchmarks, like adhering to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, cooperating on counter terrorism, and taking steps to consolidate its democratic transition.

This includes an upcoming constitutional referendum and subsequent presidential elections.

In the future, it would require the Secretary of State to determine whether a coup took place and advise Congress of that decision.

It allows the President to grant a waiver on aid restrictions for 180 days with another 180-day renewable period by arguing such a step is vital to U.S. national security interests and that the Egyptian government is committed to restoring democracy and the rule of law and fighting terrorism.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Paddle App

    Guys I cant believe we stop funding Egypt in this way.What a big mistake by our administration at the time.

    June 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  2. Thbgbg Bterhyt

    BS in BS out...Citizens have no hope for Justice...

    January 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  3. george t hibs

    Should the US really be giving aid to yet another rogue and Islamic extremist nation? Yet folks this is the direction they are heading.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  4. George patton

    Here go the right-wingers in Washington again, showing their stupidity. It's funny how they condemn "liberals" and yet they are the most liberal people of all when it comes to giving away our tax money!!! Let one of our rubber stamp "allies" come forward and give some of their money to the Egyptians for a change!

    January 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Did yo actually read the article ? It said "-
      "The administration officials and congressional staffers supporting the bill said it struck the right balance between pushing Cairo to embrace democratic reforms and maintaining the U.S. commitment to Egypt."

      Nothing was said about parties and since you did the senate is the Democrats play ground at this time so why are you blasting off as liberals seem to do about the GOP being responsible- I happen to agree with you we should not be giving money to any country that is anti-American and do not have the money to give in first place unless borrow more but lets not waste time blaming parties when it is Senate and WH pushing this

      January 15, 2014 at 6:23 am | Reply
  5. Bernie

    Thanks God for Al Sissi. He accepted to become the biggest target by the terrorist hood and their affiliated wolrdwide terror franchises. Terrorism is in islamists as the chick is in the egg. If the hood, God forbid, returns to power try to imagine how moderate muslims and christians will be massacred ! Let us not forget how they beg God five times a day in their prayers to destroy America. This cannot be allowed to happen. Better to destroy for ever the hood scourge in all it's incarnations. The US senate shows the whole world the way to go.

    January 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  6. Nick

    Egypt was a nice place before Muslim Brotherhood's reign of terror. Tourism was flourishing, Egyptians were making progress. Then, Muslim Brotherhood ruined it - there are no tourists. I hope the Egyptian military restores the decency which prevailed before the Muslim Brotherhood's took power and started to implement their Sharia Law.

    January 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Is that why most Egyptians under Hosni Mubarak were languishing in unrelieved poverty while many young people were unable to find jobs and most people there were struggling just to survive, Nick? Would you like to have traded places with any of them? I think not!!!

      January 13, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  7. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    January 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Have to ask if America is so guilty and bad why are you still here

      January 15, 2014 at 6:26 am | Reply
  8. Silverado

    Excellent. The secular government in Egypt needs help from all around the world since they had to risk their own lives to throw the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists out of their government. The whole world needs to get behind the secular government and offer it full support to keep the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists out.

    January 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Reply

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