News Column

Lawmakers Conflicted Over Egypt Aid

August 19, 2013

Rod Nordland and Brian Knowlton, New York Times

Lawmakers in Washington on Sunday condemned the crackdown by government forces in Egypt but remained conflicted on whether to punish the military by trimming or cutting off aid.

"I would cut off aid, but engage in intense diplomacy in Egypt and in the region to try to say, 'Look, we will restore aid when you stop the bloodshed in the street and set up a path toward democracy that you were on before,' " said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

"There's no way to say that this was not a coup," Ellison said on ABC's "This Week." adding that "we cannot fund the coup leaders."

But Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., cautioned that reducing aid would curtail U.S. influence over the interim government.

"We certainly shouldn't cut off all aid," King said on "Fox News Sunday."

"The fact is there's no good guys there," he said. "But of the two, I think there is more opportunity to protect American interests if we work with the military."

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on "This Week" that the U.S. needed to "recalibrate" its aid to make its displeasure abundantly clear but not endanger security needs like priority passage through the Suez Canal.

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Source: Copyright Virginian - Pilot 2013

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