Lantos Amendment Cutting Aid to Egypt Defeated - ADC

Lantos Amendment Cutting Aid to Egypt Defeated

Lantos Amendment Cutting Aid to Egypt Defeated

  • July 16, 2004
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ADC Update:
On July 15, Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, offered an amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Lantos’ amendment proposed reducing US aid to Egypt.  It was defeated by more than 2 to 1, the vote was 287 to 131.   
Lantos’ own party leadership opposed him, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  Members of the House Appropriations Committee, including Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), Subcommittee Chairman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), and Ranking Minority Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-WI) also voted against it.  Remarks opposing the amendment were presented on the House floor by John D. Dingell (D-MI), Nina Lowey (D-NY), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), and David R.Obey (D-WI). 
If it had passed, it would have disrupted the balance of US economic and military aid to Egypt and Israel established in the 1979 Camp David peace accords.  As of today, Israel and Egypt are set to receive $2.2 billion and $1.3 billion in grants, respectively, in 2005.  Additionally, Egypt and the United States agreed to a 10-year assistance plan in conjunction with a similar package for Israel in 1998.
The Bush Administration voiced its opposition to this amendment stating that this aid commitment, “has contributed to regional stability,” and “contributed to a broad range of US objectives in the region.” Secretary of State Colin Powell also warned that passing Lantos’ amendment would have sent the wrong signal saying, “Our credibility in this relationship depends to a great degree upon being a reliable provider of assistance to the Egyptian military.”
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, will offer an amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The amendment will be offered during House consideration of the bill on Thursday, July 15, 2004.
BACKGROUND
Egypt is a vital ally of the U.S. in the Middle East and Africa. In 1998, Egypt and the United States agreed to a 10-year assistance plan in conjunction with a similar package for Israel. Lantos‘ proposed amendment would cut US aid to Egypt and would disrupt the delicate aid balance to the Middle East. The Bush Administration has voiced its opposition to this amendment stating that this aid commitment, “has contributed to regional stability,” and “contributed to a broad range of US objectives in the region.”
ACTION NEEDED TODAY
Call your Representative today and urge him or her to vote against Lantos‘ amendment that would cut aid to Egypt.
The Capitol Hill switchboard is (202) 225-3121.

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