Egypt Aid Blocked, Romney Writes Middle East Op-ed
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chairwoman of the congressional subcommittee administering foreign aid, blocked $450 million in emergency aid for Egypt, part of a larger debate that has been brewing in the Congress about U.S. aid for the Middle East. “This proposal comes to Congress at a point when the U.S.-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so,” Granger said in a statement last Friday, just after the U.S. Agency for International Development notified Congress of its plans to make the transfer. “I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time.” The aid is part of $1 billion in assistance that the Obama administration has pledged to Egypt to bolster its transition to democracy, requested by the U.S. Agency for International Development in response to alarm over the Egypt’s economic situation.
In an op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama‘s Middle East foreign policy, saying “President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability (in the region).” Romney stressed the importance of using “soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression” while championing the importance of U.S.-Israeli relations.