Leadership Council for Human Rights

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Monday, June 12, 2006

House Spurns Effort to Prod Egypt

As reported by the Associated Press on Thursday, June 8th, the House of Representatives voted 225-198 to reject a proposal that would cut finance aids to Egypt. The proposal, called to cut $100million from the $1.7billion Egypt would be receiving in the $21.3billion foreign aid bill. Supporters of the proposal included Representatives Tom Lantos, David Obey and Henry Hyde, all of whom had the hopes of sending a stern message to Egypt; clean up the country’s human rights record or face aid cut-backs from the United States. Because the proposal didn’t pass, it appears that the House is currently more focused on maintaining Egypt as their strong ally in the Middle East rather than focusing on the internal affairs of the country and Mubarak’s abuses.

As printed in the New York Times,

“WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House beat back a bipartisan effort Thursday to prod Egypt to strengthen its commitment to democracy and improve its human rights record.
On a 225-198 vote, the House rejected a proposal that would have cut $100 million from the $1.7 billion in assistance slated for Egypt in a $21.3 billion foreign aid bill.

“The House was expected to overwhelmingly approve the bill on Friday. It is $2.4 billion less than what President Bush requested for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. The Senate has not yet completed its version of the bill.

“Overall, the House measure would provide $2.4 billion in aid for Israel, $2 billion for the administration's hallmark program designed to reward developing nations for a commitment to democracy and $522 million to promote stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.

“The measure also includes the $3.4 billion the president requested to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria throughout the world and the $450 million he wanted for assistance in Sudan, including $138 million for the Darfur region.

“Reps. David Obey of Wisconsin, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, and Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Tom Lantos, D-Calif., the senior members of the House International Relations Committee, wanted to add another $50 million for each of those two initiatives -- and send Egypt a message by cutting $100 million from its assistance package.”

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