Egypt's military "did what they had to do" when overthrowing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, House Speaker John Boehner said Monday, expressing his support for the efforts to topple the country's elected president.
But while supporting Egypt's military, which he called "one of the most respected institutions in their country," the Ohio Republican said it's best to wait for further consultations with the administration on how the government should move ahead, Politico reports
Boehner's words came as the Obama administration and lawmakers from both parties are formulating how to respond to last week's events, when the Egyptian military sided with an uprising against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party, taking the president and his top deputies into custody, reports NBC News
The military has yet to turn over control of the government to civilian leaders or outline a political process to allow a transition to civilian rule.
However, the Obama administration has declined to call the military's actions a "coup." That would legally require the United States to suspend some $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt.
However, many differ, including Sen. John McCain, who Sunday called the situation a coup and said he favors suspending the aid package.
Related: McCain Says US Should End Aid to Egypt
On Monday, the White House ruled out suspending the aid package, The New York Times reports
, instead hoping to use the financial leverage to push for a restoration of a democratic government.
White House Press Secretary ay Carney said it would not be in the "best interests" of the United States to cut off aid to Egypt. However, Carney said, in the long term, financial assistance will depend on whether the country's military eases up on its crackdown and new elections are planned and held.
The president can't legally waive the ban on foreign aid after a military coup, and that aid can't be restored until "a democratically elected government has taken office."
Egypt has been the United States' second-largest foreign-aid recipient since 1979, as a reward and incentive to keep peace with Israel. Egypt's military, according to The Times, still supports that peace treaty.
Except for a written statement, Obama has remained silent about the crisis.
Egyptian officials deny the military's actions were a coup. The removal of Morsi was in response to the protesters' demands.
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