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Feinstein: Consider holding Egypt aid

The U.S. might need to consider cutting off aid to Egypt if its new military leaders can't control the recent outbreak of violence and move quickly toward restoring civilian control, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday.

Egyptian security forces reportedly killed more than 70 Islamist protesters on Saturday, as violence escalates on the heels of President Mohamed Morsi's recent ouster by the military.

"For the first time, I am very concerned," Feinstein said.

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The Obama administration has avoided calling Morsi's ouster a “coup,” because making that designation would require cutting off aid to Egypt.

Feinstein said the decision not to use the word coup doesn't signal anything to the Egyptian people, and said the U.S. might need to "re-look at granting aid" if the country's new leaders cannot restore calm.

"If they don't, they can't," Feinstein said.


She said the new leaders’ ability to control the military will determine whether democracy can work in Egypt.

The Obama administration has already suspended some military aid, but Feinstein said bigger steps could be required.

"I think that may be the case," she said when asked whether the U.S. would need to consider cutting off aid to Egypt.