WASHINGTON — The US State Department said Monday it would work with Congress to try to unblock some $450 million in economic aid for Egypt, after a lawmaker froze the funds.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the US administration had asked Congress to free up the money in two tranches to support the government in Cairo.
But she said there were “concerns” about the plan amid rocky ties between the United States and Egypt, under its new Islamist leader, President Mohamed Morsi.
“We’re obviously going to have to work with the Congress in the coming days and weeks to explain why we think this money is so essential at a time of almost 12 billion (dollars) in budget gap in Egypt,” Nuland told reporters.
“Why we think supporting the democratic trajectory of Egypt in a phased way is in US interests, because we obviously firmly do. And we will continue to work with the Congress on that.”
The money is part of a billion dollars in extra support pledged to Egypt by President Barack Obama last year. It is separate from $1.3 billion in military funding which Washington already provides to Cairo.
Republican congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Relations, on Friday put a “hold” on the application, meaning it could be held up indefinitely.
“This proposal comes to Congress at a point when the US-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so,” Granger said in a statement.
“I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time.”
‘He didn’t do anything!’ Wisconsin cops jump man on bicycle as peaceful protesters object
On Tuesday, a Twitter user posted an incident in Milwaukee, Wisconsin involving a line of police officers and a crowd of peaceful protesters.
In the video, the officers can be seen charging a man on a bicycle, jumping on him as he collapsed. "F**king scum!" the man recording the video can be heard shouting. "He didn't do anything! F**k you!"
The police then gassed the crowd and fired rubber bullets, as people in the crowd shouted "Don't shoot!" and "We are peaceful!"
This Just took place in Milwaukee, WI.
‘They want to kill us’: Police in Massachusetts slammed for tear-gassing black protesters
The racial dynamics that launched nationwide protests were on full display in Brockton, Massachusetts on Tuesday night.
Here are some of the videos from the scene.
Brockton is the Blackest city in Massachusetts, nestled in a racist county with some of the worst inequality in the state.
Spider-Man scales Manhattan Bridge — as NYPD corner protesters on the structure: report
Protesters on the Manhattan Bridge in New York City were greeted by a fascinating sight as a person wearing a Spiderman costume climbed the structure.
Tense situation in Manhattan - we’re at the Manhattan bridge where it crosses into Brooklyn. Police are blocking protesters from crossing into Manhattan. Protesters are chanting: let us through. Curfew went into effect at 8pmET https://t.co/PMDkll0RG0
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) June 3, 2020