By Julian Pecquet - 07/11/13 03:59 PM EDT
Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump, Clinton boost Snapchat spending Clinton enjoying edge over Trump in Silicon Valley Trump gets little backing from Silicon Valley MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday unveiled legislation to end U.S. aid to Egypt, calling last week’s takeover by the military a “coup.”
“The overthrow of the Egyptian government was a coup d’état, and the law is clear that when a coup takes place, foreign aid must stop,” Paul said. “But the President still plans to continue to send aid to Egypt.”
Last week, Egyptian military officers deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. The Obama administration is still weighing whether to label the move a coup, a decision that would trigger laws freezing the $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the administration was still assessing the situation.
“We will take our time and the time necessary to make determinations regarding what happened last week and the change in leadership, the removal of President Morsi from power,” he said.
It is unclear how much support Paul’s measure would have, as most lawmakers have expressed caution about punishing Egypt’s military or losing U.S. leverage over the Arab nation.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert MenendezRobert MenendezConfirm Julien Neals for the district of New Jersey Puerto Rico task force asks for help in charting island's economic course Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense MORE (D-N.J.) on Sunday said that Egypt aid could be used as leverage to press the military to transition more quickly back to civilian rule.
The ranking member on the panel, Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerBolton would consider serving as Trump's secretary of State Trump struggles to land punches on Dems over ISIS GOP senator: Trump calling Obama ISIS founder 'went far too far' MORE (R-Tenn.), said the administration should urge “calm” in Egypt, amid violent clashes between Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents.
Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinSenate continues to disrespect Constitution, Obama and Supreme Court by not voting on Garland As other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? MORE (D-Mich.) and John McCainJohn McCainMeghan McCain fires back at Drudge over ‘obnoxious’ headline Ryan: Obama putting 'pet' projects above troops The Hill’s 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ariz.), however, have urged that the administration call the action a coup and suspend aid.
Paul was particularly infuriated by reports that the Pentagon has decided to continue with the scheduled delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks as the administration makes its determination.
Earlier this year, the Senate defeated by a 79-19 vote a Paul amendment to a debt limit bill, which would have banned the administration from providing F-16s and other weapons to Egypt after legal charges were introduced against 43 nongovernmental organization workers, including 16 Americans.