In a strongly worded letter to President Obama, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., urges the administration to reverse the State Department’s decision to release foreign aid to Egypt.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waived congressional restrictions on U.S. assistance to the African country in March after the release of more than a dozen pro-democracy activists. But critics are now calling for the Obama administration to restrict those funds because the Egyptian government is requesting Interpol seek the arrests of non-governmental workers who were not in country when charges were brought.
Paul attempted to introduce an amendment to end U.S. assistance on a bill meant to streamline the postal service. The maneuver failed, however, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., cut Paul off.
“Why would a country that is pursuing the ‘politically motivated; prosecution of American citizens be eligible for every a single dime of U.S. foreign aid, never mind the $2 billion in taxpayer dollars about to be sent,” says Paul in the letter. “The Egyptian government has, in the span of a few short months, arrested Americans, seized their property, and held them captive. They have demanded U.S. taxpayer-funded “bail” money to release them. Now they have begun the process of international arrest warrants.”
The U.S. sends $1.5 billion in annual aid to the Egyptian government.