Washington (CNN) - A House Republican with significant influence over funding for Egypt tells CNN she does not believe the United States should threaten to withhold financial aid to that country right now.
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, the chairwoman of the House subcommittee in charge of foreign aid, said Monday it would not be in America's interest to use any of the $1.5 billion in assistance as a stick to try to force Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to put democratic reforms in place.
"Things are changing as we speak and the most important thing for the us is to do whatever we can do to help towards stability in Egypt," Granger told CNN in a telephone interview from her Texas congressional district. "Egypt has been an ally and a friend."
Granger noted that most of the financial aid the U.S. provides to Egypt – about $1.3 billion – goes toward the military, which appears to be a stabilizing force well received by demonstrators.
"From everything that I have seen in the conversations I have had, the military is respected in Egypt and has been one of the more stabilizing aspects of what's going on, and we have to be very aware of that, and people who are not aware of that, make them aware of it," Granger said.
The Texas Republican says she is in constant contact with the State Department and says she believes she and other top congressional Republicans are on the same page with the Obama administration on the questions of foreign aid.
Still, Granger said officials are actively monitoring the situation and that if evidence emerges suggesting U.S. military equipment is used improperly, then the administration and Congress should perhaps consider withholding assistance to Egypt.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. financial aid, behind Israel.
So far, most members of Congress in both parties appear to be taking this same measured approach as Granger.
Democrat Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who chairs the Senate subcommittee in charge of foreign aid, is the author of a provision that restricts U.S. financial assistance to countries guilty of human rights violations.
On Friday he warned that any "misuse of force, with or without U.S. supplied ordnance, would threaten the safety of civilians and draw the condemnation of a watching world."
Other top Democrats are more unequivocal in their support for continuing aid to Egypt.
Rep. Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement Monday saying the U.S. should "remain committed to our ongoing assistance programs for Egypt, both military and civilian."
"Since the days of Anwar Sadat, who expelled Soviet forces from Egypt and made peace with Israel, the United States and Egypt have had very close ties. This relationship is vital to our security and the security of our allies, and I intend to do everything I can to ensure it continues into the future," Berman said.