Senate set to vote on Egypt aid
July 29th, 2013
07:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate set to vote on Egypt aid

Washington (CNN) - The turmoil in Egypt is poised to land on the U.S. Senate floor this week. Sources in both parties confirm to CNN that Democratic leaders have tentatively green-lighted a vote on whether to cut off $1.5 billion in aid to Cairo.

The proposal from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, is not new. A similar measure of his received just 10 votes last fall. This week's version is not expected to pass either, but a Democratic senate leadership aide said Monday they expect it to get more support than last time, following the military takeover in Egypt.

Both parties have internal disagreements over this issue, but Democrats believe this vote may be tougher for Republicans, who are divided between libertarian sentiments against foreign aid and conservative bullishness to use funding as leverage overseas.

For the White House, the vote comes as officials try to thread a slim policy needle, refusing to determine whether the military takeover of the Egyptian government was a coup. If it were officially labeled as a coup, U.S. law dictates that foreign aid should stop.

Aid to Egypt is becoming a perennial source of political tension in Washington. Last year, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a waiver to allow U.S. funds to flow to Cairo, despite crackdowns against groups aiming to build democracy in the country. Fellow Democrats, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, openly expressed disappointment at the decision, saying the Egyptian government needed to meet the full conditions of transitioning to a democracy.

Senate leaders have yet to decide which day this week they will bring up the latest Egyptian aid measure and also if they will consider it as an amendment to the appropriations bill now on the floor or if it will move as a standalone bill.

Filed under: Egypt • Senate
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This is just another grandstand performance by Rand Paul, trying to keep his name in the news. What a waste of taxpayer money and such an embarrassment to the people of Kentucky.

    July 29, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. US Veteran

    We have a military Coup - of that, there can be no dispute. Accordingly, the US has no choice but to cut off aid. To not do so puts the US in the position of supporting anarchy and military overthrows of democratically elected governments. That is a slippery slope to go down. I hope our political leaders have the courage to do the only thing possible – cut of aid

    July 29, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Dixie

    Why are we giving away money we don't have? We should stop this until our house is back in order. We can't even take care of our own people at this point.

    July 29, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. andres

    And yet that lack of aid won't hurt one little bit. The gulf states have poured over 12 Billions in to Egypt in the last few weeks, and good for them, it is time that they took care of their own. As for the US cutting off aid is nothing more than a show for the US citizens and the world. What must really stick in the craw of the government is that it lost its biggest stick with Egypt. Americans rejoice, one of our many obligations has been lifted from us.

    July 29, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein

    The problem is that we have allies who don't share our values. They are in positions around the world that can help us but don't all share our values. We have no choice but to support those governments and countries because they are what we need and not what we want.

    July 29, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  6. adam

    Arabs and muslims aren't stupid; they can clearly see America and the west abandon Egypt's true democracy and favor autocratic rule in Egypt just because of Isreal security? Someone should have told Israel to stop oppressing the palestians otherwise they wont be safe in the future when arab spring regains its momentum!

    July 30, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  7. Richard

    Ron Paul s one of the greatest threats to American freedom that we have ever faced. He is pro aristocracy and anti middle class, lower class and poor. 90% of America he despises..

    July 30, 2013 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  8. freddie nerk

    Rand Paul is a fool. Just who does he want the US to be supporting? How about terrorists? I prefer to fund the army which protects Christians.

    July 30, 2013 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  9. Al

    Perhaps it's the people that pay taxes that should be voting and not the spenders in the Senate, Harry it's time to take away the checkbook from you, unless it's your personal checkbook.

    July 30, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  10. A.elshafei

    It's amazing to see congress so eager to pads foreign aid bills yet they cannot agree on student loan reform, stop giving aid to foreign countries and invest internally!

    July 30, 2013 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  11. Paul

    Just because Obama will not say its a coup does not mean its not a coup. The military removed their sitting president. It's a coup! Stop the funds and military gifts. Or is this another case of selective enforcement of our laws by this administion?

    July 30, 2013 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  12. Neutral Observer

    No don't do it!! How many times do we have to ride this merry-go-round from he!! to learn that these people just don't like us.

    July 30, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |