U.S. officials say President Barack Obama's top national security aides have recommended that the U.S. suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt in response to the Egyptian military's ouster of the country's first democratically elected leader.
Such a step would be a dramatic shift for an administration that has declined to label Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's July 3 ouster a coup and has argued that it is in U.S. national security interests to keep the aid flowing. It would also likely have profound implications for decades of close U.S.-Egyptian ties that have served as a bulwark of security and stability in the Middle East.
The officials say the recommendation has been with Obama for at least a week but they don't expect him to make a decision until after the full Congress votes on his request for authorization for military strikes on Syria, which is not expected before Monday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations.