The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee requested the State Department pause a portion of military financing for Egypt over concerns that Cairo has failed to deliver on improving its human rights record.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) said he is pushing for the Biden administration to withhold $320 million in military financing, saying that “Congress needs more clarity from the State Department on how concerns about treatment of political prisoners, journalists, as well as the rule of law are being tackled in our bilateral relationship.”
The request for a pause comes after Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) stepped down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a federal indictment unsealed last week accused him of accepting bribes in exchange for using his political influence to benefit Egypt’s government.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who took over as chair of the Foreign Relations panel, told reporters Thursday that he would speak with his foreign policy staff and the administration before making a decision on whether he would use his position to exercise a hold on U.S. military financing for Egypt.
The Biden administration announced earlier this month that it was moving forward on providing Egypt with $235 million in foreign military financing, issuing a waiver that allows for the money to proceed despite concerns over Egypt’s human rights record. The Biden administration withheld $85 million of the total military financing to express serious concerns about human rights abuses in Egypt.
Source : The Hill