Pro-Egypt group launches advocacy campaign to lift congressional block on U.S. aid

Granger announced the hold last week after the State Department made a reprogramming request, which by tradition gets signed off on by the leaders of the relevant House and Senate Appropriations panels. While the State Department could legally ignore her, that would poison the well for future appropriations bills.

"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 when announcing the hold, following questions about the level of security provided by Egypt after the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was breached by protesters on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has also expressed her opposition to releasing the money.

"The Egyptian government has not gained the trust of the U.S. and the Administration’s response ... to cut an unprecedented $450 million check directly to the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt is problematic," she said in a statement Monday. "The Administration’s proposed cash transfers and other multi-million dollar requests for Egypt are also on hold by me and other pertinent Chairmen."