Republicans Propose To Keep $1.3 Billion in Military Aid to Egypt

Credit: Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby/wikimediaCredit: Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby/wikimediaRepublicans on the House Appropriations subcommittee, which oversees foreign aid, have proposed military aid to Egypt be kept at $1.3 billion next year. This figure comes in at slightly below President Barack Obama’s request of $1.55 billion for 2014 budget. Continuing military aid to Egypt has received the support of Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who stated that "they are worth the investment." The proposal comes with several conditions.

From Reuters:

The proposed House bill requires that Egypt "demonstrate a commitment to a pluralistic and inclusive democracy," including planning for and conducting free and fair elections, protecting freedom of expression, association, assembly, religion and due process of law.It also requires that the Cairo government take action to eliminate smuggling networks between Egypt and Gaza and to combat terrorism. It preserves existing language making the aid contingent upon Egypt's government respecting the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.A Senate Appropriations subcommittee is due to begin considering its version of the measure this month. The two bills would have to be reconciled before going to Obama for his signature.

U.S. military aid to Egypt has been the source of much controversy with some legislators, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), arguing strongly against the move since the government of Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the military on July 3 this year.

Last week Paul introduced a bill to prevent the United States from sending aid to the Egyptian government, stating that "Egypt is the latest example of the Obama Administration’s misguided foreign policy.

"The overthrow of the Egyptian government was a coup d’état, and the law is clear that when a coup takes place, foreign aid must stop. But, the president still plans to continue to send aid to Egypt, at a pace of more than $1.3 billion per year."

The Obama administration has given no clear indication as to whether it regards the overthrow of Mr. Morsi’s government as a coup. The overthrow of the Morsi government has not dampened the willingness of the administration to send weapons to Egypt. As recently as July 10, defense officials confirmed that four F-16 fighter jets were to be delivered to Egypt.

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What, exactly, does a country have to do to get its US aid cut off?

  • Almanian!||

    Cheat on Lorena Bobbit?

    /wayback machine

  • Rich||

    Zing! Ouch!

  • Hollywood||

    So it will be functionally reattached and used in porn flicks?

  • Hyperion||

    Tell us to fuck off and that they don't want our money.

    Apparently, not too many tin pot banana republics are willing to do that.

  • Libertymike||

    Why do that when they can take the money and then tell us to fuck off?

  • Hyperion||

    Their politicians will not exactly tell us to fuck off.

    What they will do is let us meddle in the affairs of their country all we want, which will not affect them at all, because now they are all rich from the money grab, and they don't give a fuck if we drone a few of their peasants or kill them in some heroic WOD raids.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Telling us to fuck off would actually make us give them more money. We're the Middle East's bitch and they know it.

  • ||

    In all seriousness? Start a war with Israel.

    That's what our "aid" to Egypt is, and has been for 30 years: an "atta boy!" for swearing off of the Arab-Israeli Wars.

  • Hyperion||

    That's so stupid. Let them start a war with Israel. You know what happened the first time, and that is not likely to change.

    You can't protect everyone from being stupid. As long as they are not attacking us, fuck it.

  • ||

    Actually they bloodied Israel's nose quite a bit in the follow-up Yom Kippur War. Enough that the Israelies started prepping the nukes they don't officially admit to having (according to accounts written by retired IDF members).

  • Hyperion||

    I'm sure that Egypt is well aware of Israels nukes.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Just because Israel had a bloody nose doesn't mean it was entitled to use deadly force in retaliation. Justice 4 Egypt!

  • Almanian!||

    L'Oreal Continued Warboner Aid - Because She's Egypt's Worth It™

  • Swarley||

    Stupid Party!!!

  • PapayaSF||

    Jeebus, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They could:

    1) Save taxpayer money.
    2) Look fiscally responsible.
    3) Stand against coups.
    4) Not appear mindlessly pro-defense-industry.
    5) Poke Obama and the Democrats in the eye about their hypocrisy on this.
    6) Militarily weaken an enemy of our only real friend in the region.
    7) Force other Arab countries, none of which are really our friends, to spend their money supporting the basketcase that is Egypt.

    But noooooo....

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No kidding. This is the perfect circumstance in which to cut aid.

  • Libertymike||

    The perfect circumstance is no aid.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "The perfect circumstance is no aid"?

  • Libertymike||

    Perfect.

  • Libertymike||

    Not the 1985 Travolta flick.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I favor a wide stance, personally.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!"

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Jeebus, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity
    -No kidding. This is the perfect circumstance in which to cut aid.

    The surprising thing is that you are surprised. The Republicans are not libertarians. They talk a talk a bit more rhetorically friendly to libertarianism than the Democrats, but neither party cares a whit for libertarian philosophy. The Republican Party likes Israel, so they are going to support aid Israel likes. The Republican party supports military spending, so they are going to support it.

    Again, I realize the GOP talks a better talk. And when a Democrat like Obama is in power, it's a bit natural for some Tea Party types to start schmoozing with libertarians and vice versa, but really, it shouldn't take long for any libertarian to learn that's just talk.

  • PapayaSF||

    so they are going to support aid Israel likes

    I can see why Israel might have been OK with our giving military aid to Egypt in the wake of the Camp David accords, but these days? I suspect they would be fine with us cutting it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That aid goes to Egypt's military, which is actually in charge, and keeps them happy. The military then makes sure that whoever comes to power civilly won't be too radical and anti-Israel. Israel's defense strategy since the accords been to assume peace with Egypt and go from there.

  • PapayaSF||

    I know that's how it was for a long time, but I suspect their calculations may have changed in recent years. For one thing Egypt is headed for starvation, and there's not much the military can do about that.

  • Drake||

    They never miss an opportunity to make me feel good about leaving the party. It really saves a lot of embarrassment.

  • Libertymike||

    The GOP?

    Red.From.The.Start.

  • DJF||

    But the standing army of foreign/military policy wonks and their media buddies will attack the Republicans for not being “engaging” and “consolatory “. They might even call them “Isolationist” which is almost as bad as being racist

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    They are not worried about wonks or media, they are worried about their constituencies and donors.

  • DJF||

    Do you think their constituencies want to give billions to Egypt?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The proposed House bill requires that Egypt "demonstrate a commitment to a pluralistic and inclusive democracy," including planning for and conducting free and fair elections, protecting freedom of expression, association, assembly, religion and due process of law.

    Why do policymakers insist on charade in this matter? Why not recognize instead that the military, and not any sort of democratically-elected body, is in charge and go from there? If you are interested in making life better for Egyptians or in making the region more stable, why not make aid contingent on, say, protection of property rights and meaningful steps to liberalize the Egyptian economy, provide for the rights of Egyptian Copts, and limit the damage that a police state can do? Free, fair, and universal elections ain't happening (and TBH, probably shouldn't happen so long as Egypt has the electorate it currently has) -- so why not focus on aspects of Egyptian policy that can potentially be negotiated for? Better a Pinochet than what they have now.

  • Hyperion||

    It's none of our fucking business what type of government they decide to have.

    protecting freedom of expression, association, assembly, religion and due process of law

    So, we demand that Egypt has all of that, while we take it all away from our own people?

    The day cannot come soon enough, that all politicians are dumped out in middle of the Pacific and told to swim.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    TIT was making a contingent argument...

    In fact, he explicitly said the word "contingent."

  • Hyperion||

    I know what he's saying.

    My point is that maybe we should take a good look at what has happened to all of those things here, first, before we worry about Egypt.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    When it comes to issues like constitutionality, we're definitely the eye-beplanked brother in the New Testament.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I assume those questions were rhetorical, but I am going to give the answer that you surely know:

    Democracy ≥ Genuine Liberalism

    That is why we are fucked -- and why, as bad as it sounds, I can't muster the emotional resources to get very upset about the Egyptians' freedoms right now, as bad as they have it...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Pretty much.

    Can't help but think that American policymakers, both at home and abroad, are far more concerned with the policymaking equivalent of the Pyramids rather than simply going with time-tested, stable policies in keeping with our nation's limited government roots.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    They aren't -- and that would be fine if "we" hadn't betrayed our American tradition of distrusting them.

    Democracy only works when people don't trust it (or the government).

  • Rich||

    The Obama administration has given no clear indication as to whether it regards the overthrow of Mr. Morsi’s government as a coup.

    Sure it has. Given "the law is clear that when a coup takes place, foreign aid must stop" and "the president still plans to continue to send aid to Egypt", we have that the administration does not consider the overthrow a coup. It's simple logic.

    But, there I go again ....

  • Hyperion||

    the law is clear

    Since when did the law mean anything to this administration?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Princeps legibus solutus est.

  • Hyperion||

    At least there were consequences for Nixon. For our current liar in chief, consequences are far, far away in another galaxy, headed this way at a speed slower than a snail crawls.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "This figure comes in at slightly below President Barack Obama’s request of $1.55 billion for 2014 budget."

    DRACONIAN CUTS!

  • Hyperion||

    And now, Detroit is already asking for a bailout, and you know they are going to get it, no matter how obscene it is.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    We should make aid contingent on democracy there, too.

  • Hyperion||

    If we just left them alone, something new and better might arise from the dust. But no, we can't ever leave well enough fucked up alone, we have to make it worse.

  • Hyperion||

    If I was POTUS, or better yet, Supreme Overlord for life, I would say something like this:

    There will be no bailouts. You are on your own, Detroit. And in case anyone else gets the same idea, forget it. It's time we learned some responsibility and went back to what made this country great. Personal responsibility, hard work, and accountability are a big part of that. Not graft, sloth, and corruption.

    Having said that, I will now cut federal spending by 50%, immediately. And Congress, you have 1 calendar year to find 1 trillion dollars and we will divide that up in a personal check to every tax payer in the US, to make up for that bailout money that was previously stolen from them. If you don't find it, we'll just start garnishing your wages and auctioning off your personal property to raise it.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I definitely agree with your sentiment, and I abhor bailouts, but where did you get the numbers for the bailout money?

  • Hyperion||

    800 billion, correct? I'm adding a little interest.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    If you are referring to TARP, that isn't actually how much we are owed, because it was mostly paid back.

    Bullshit program? Absolutely...
    Unconstitutional? Indubitably...
    Winners and losers chosen? Naturally...

    ...But it was paid back.

  • Hyperion||

    I didn't get my check. The government got it, and they wasted it. I want my money back.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Let's take the 1.3 Billion that goes to Egypt and give it to Detroit. It's all fake money anyway.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "Why not print them both the money?!?"

    -- Paul Krugabe, 2013

  • Fatty Bolger||

    We'll just print a trillion dollar coin or two and let Detroit have them. Problem solved.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    As long as everyone in the city has to fight for it, in Thunderdome Silverdome!

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Republicans do not want to "keep" 1.3 Billion. They may think so, but the effect of what they propose will be that the US does not write a rubber check for 1.3 Billion. Please keep this in mind.

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