McConnell sees 'tipping point' on Egypt aid
August 22nd, 2013
03:01 PM ET
10 years ago

McConnell sees 'tipping point' on Egypt aid

Louisville, Kentucky (CNN) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he sensed a "tipping point" because of the Egyptian military's behavior and predicted a vote soon to block US military aid even though a proposal to do just that was roundly defeated only weeks ago.

"I think we've all kind of reached a tipping point," the Kentucky Republican said when asked by CNN . "We've appreciated our alliance with Egypt. The Israelis have certainly thought it was important for the Camp David Accords to be adhered to.

"But enough is enough," McConnell said. "The Egyptian military needs to let the democratic process go forward. I think we're going to be voting on this again in September because it looks to me like the crackdown is not an indication that they are moving in the direction of having a new election."

McConnell spoke after attending the 50th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State fair, an event that draws a who's who of state political figures.

He did not mention Egypt in his breakfast speech. But Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul, made an animated appeal to end US aid to Egypt and said that money would be better spent at home.

It was Paul who offered an amendment a month ago calling on the administration to halt US military assistance because of the military's decision to remove Egypt's democratically elected president from power.

The amendment was roundly defeated – 86 to 13. But since that vote, a number of Republicans who were critical of Senator Paul's proposal have had a change of heart.

Among them: Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. They recently traveled to Egypt and upon returning issued a statement saying the United States should not support the Egyptian military if it stayed on its current path in dealing with the political crisis.

McConnell's "tipping point" remark came just after he said Graham had recently briefed him on the trip.

Filed under: Egypt • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    It is pathetic to see Republicans fail to recognize that there can be no fair elections in Egypt, without allowing an Islamic dictatorship to take control of the country.........something absolutely not favorable to the U.S. at all.

    August 22, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "McConnell's "tipping point" remark came just after he said Graham had recently briefed him on the trip."

    I'm more interested in the photo. Is it supposed to be a depiction of McConnell giving Egypt his "I got my big boy pants on" look?

    August 22, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    This IS news. McConnell has made a political statement w/out saying that Obama is trying to destroy America.

    August 22, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    They really should use a different picture. That one doesn't make him look tough, he simply looks like exactly what he is. A kl@n$man.

    August 22, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    If anyone thinks that withdrawing $1.5 billion in U.S. financial aid will make a difference to the Egyptian military, then they don't know diddly about the Middle East. Any one of a handful of oil-rich Arab countries will quickly fill the void, most likely Saudi Arabia. Besides, there are factions in both the Morsi and anti-Morsi camps who blame the U.S. for supporting the other side and/or betraying their own side. It's literally a no-win, damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario over there.

    The best case scenario coming out of withdrawing U.S. military aid is that both sides will feel betrayed, as well as the military. The military aid is tied into the 1979 Egyptian/Israeli Peace Accord. Both camps had emerged from the peace talks with a handsome U.S. aid package.

    This is a real mess. Withdrawing aid is the prudent thing to do under U.S. law. But in doing so, the U.S. will make all sides in all camps feel betrayed.

    August 22, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Name Uche Agonsi

    Well Well Well, according to the 'two wise men', cutting US aid is better. But how does it solve the quest for Democracy in Egypt. The options are it might give more political leverages to the Islamists, OR push Egypt Military to look for alternative supports from China or Russia, OR create more strained relation with US that might affect Israel, in which case the it might affect the suez route, OR it could create difficuties in US relations with US middle east traditional allies like Saudi & Jordan that might not like the idea of allowing Egypt to go Islamic, etc...........all said & done, these Repubs wise men would see how beneficial loosing a friend could be. In the end, there is an irony, they will turn around to blame Obama for the woes.

    August 22, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Winston Smith

    It'd be nice to see him tipped out of office.

    August 22, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Roy Ussery

    Are Republicans becoming overcome with a British mentality toward Egypt? Where is Laurence?

    August 22, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    "tipping" point. Has the weeper been drinking again?

    August 22, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |