Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments in Egypt Senate Floor

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee -- the Appropriations Committee panel that oversees the State Department’s budget as well as foreign aid programs.  In his role as chairman, Leahy has put a hold on the Administration’s April 25 request to obligate $650 million in military assistance for Egypt that was provided under the Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill enacted early this year.  Leahy has worked on writing current and previous congressional conditions on aid to the Egyptian Government.  Leahy announced his hold Tuesday on the Senate Floor.]

Mr. President, on another matter, events in Egypt continue to concern people of goodwill, in this country and across the globe, who have shared the Egyptian people’s yearning for greater freedom under the rule of law. 

As the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, I have watched this unfolding situation with great interest, and with growing dismay.   

I am extremely disturbed by the Egyptian Government’s flouting of human rights and appalling abuse of the justice system, which are fundamental to any democracy. 

I am not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military until we have a better understanding of how the aid would be used, and we see convincing evidence that the government is committed to the rule of law.

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