Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday the United States was required by law to cut aid to Egypt following a coups d’etat.
“The Morsi government has been a great disappointment to the people of Egypt, and to all who wish Egypt a successful transition to responsive, representative government under the rule of law,” he said in a statement. “He squandered an historic opportunity, preferring to govern by fiat rather than work with other political parties to do what is best for all Egyptians. Egypt’s military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise.”
“In the meantime, our law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree,” Leahy added. “As we work on the new budget, my committee also will review future aid to the Egyptian government as we wait for a clearer picture. As the world’s oldest democracy, this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principle that transfers of power should be by the ballot, not by force of arms.”
The Democratic senator cited the Fiscal Year 2012 State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations Act in particular. The law prohibits the United States from sending funds to the government of a country whose democratically-elected leader has been deposed by the military.
Egypt’s armed forces ousted President Mohamed Morsi from power on Wednesday, after he refused to share power with other political groups.