A senator lashed out at the Obama administration for deciding to go ahead and release massive military aid to Egypt despite the deteriorating human-rights situation in the country.
Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter last week urging her, in advance of the April 10 trial of pro-democracy activists, to halt funding to Cairo and state that the country doesn’t meet aid requirements.
The administration decided this week to “disburse security funding as needed to meet contractual obligations.” The FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations Budget still includes $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt and $250 million in other assistance.
“Secretary Clinton’s decision to waive restrictions on U.S. military aid to Egypt goes beyond the pale,” Paul said yesterday evening. “Not only does this action condone the human rights abuses Egypt committed against American pro-democracy workers earlier this year, it sets a precedent that America will not punish its aggressors, but instead, give them billions of our taxpayers’ dollars.”
Democrats also expressed opposition to releasing the funds.
“I know Secretary Hillary Clinton wants the democratic transition in Egypt to succeed, but by waiving the conditions we send a contradictory message,” Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee foreign operations subcommittee, in a statement.
“Last week I sent a letter to Secretary Clinton strongly advising her to refrain from waiving the conditions set for Egypt to receive U.S. financial assistance; this request was sadly ignored, much like how Secretary Clinton ignored the requirements Congress established for Egypt to receive this money,” Paul said.