Sen. Paul offers legislation to strip US aid to Egypt

The Egyptian military's "recent actions are troubling and should give us reason to reconsider our significant aid to the government of Egypt," said Paul, who also opposes foreign aid in general. "Right now innocent American citizens who work for pro-democracy organizations in Egypt are being held hostage. There really is no other way to put it. They are not being allowed to leave Egypt and are facing trial from a military government."

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Paul, a vocal critic of President Obama, went on to blame the White House for allowing the situation to escalate, suggesting the administration had taken insufficient action to force Egypt into reversing its position.

The White House has warned the ruling military regime at least twice so far that holding the American citizens could cost it some or all of the $1.3 billion the U.S. provides annually, but so far there are few signs the regime takes the threats seriously. Egyptian officials have argued it is illegal for the government to intervene with the nation's independent judicial system.

But Paul, on Thursday, said it was time for Congress to take concrete action and actually bring the flow of money to a halt. 

"This must not be allowed to stand," said Paul. "The American people should be concerned that American tax dollars in the form of foreign aid to Egypt are subsidizing behavior that is allowing and leading to the unjust detention of U.S. citizens in Egypt."