McCain, Graham renew call for halt to Egypt aid

Republican lawmakers cite law requiring a suspension of aid to any nation that overthrows democratically elected government.

US SENATORS John McCain and Lindsey Graham address a news co (photo credit: STEVE LINDE)
US SENATORS John McCain and Lindsey Graham address a news co
(photo credit: STEVE LINDE)
WASHINGTON – Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham pressed their colleagues to revisit America’s aid package to Egypt on Sunday, renewing a call to suspend the assistance based on a US law prohibiting Congress from funding governments put in place by military coup or decree.
McCain originally announced the “difficult” position last week to mixed reactions on Capitol Hill. Few senators have joined him thus far or have spoken out publicly in support of a suspension.
“Not all coups are created equal, but a coup is still a coup... We find it hard to describe the situation in Egypt any other way,” McCain and Graham wrote in an op-ed in Sunday’s The Washington Post.
“This is a difficult decision, but if we expect Egypt and other countries to abide by their laws, then we must abide by ours.”
The US provides Egypt’s military with $1.3 billion in aid each year – more than any other foreign military funding package the United States provides to an ally, save for Israel.
Fear of further destabilization in the country of 83 million has united many senators influential on foreign policy issues with the White House, which has refrained from calling the event in Egypt a “coup” per se.
“We know that many of our friends in Egypt and the region do not want the United States to suspend assistance,” the senators wrote. “If Egyptians join together and move their country toward the democratic future that so many of them have risked so much to achieve, we will be the first to call for a full restoration of US assistance to Egypt.”