Tags: Egypt Unrest | hoekstra | us | aid | egypt

Pete Hoekstra: US Should Immediately End Aid to Egypt

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 05:56 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

The United States should immediately end financial aid to Egypt following the coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, according to former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican.

"I don’t think there’s any question that this was a military coup. American law says when you throw out a democratically elected government, foreign aid will be suspended," Hoekstra told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

"We should suspend foreign aid. The overthrow of a democratically elected government is a serious issue."

The United States gives an estimated $1 billion a year in aid to Egypt, most of which supports the Egyptian Army, which last week overthrew Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood government.

Hoekstra, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the aid must end even though the new government will likely be more respectful of human rights and friendlier to the United States.

"If the president wants to give aid to this new government, then it's his requirement to come back to Congress and change the law or give a vote of Congress to support this government," Hoekstra said.

He noted the historic overthrow of Egypt's first freely elected president comes amid years of confused U.S. foreign policy.

"There's one thing that people can say about our message in the Middle East over the last five years, and that has been very, very inconsistent," he said.

"Morsi is now gone and we need to decide exactly what we want in the Middle East. Clearly, it is vital to United States' interest, but we need to outline exactly what our policy objectives, our foreign policy objectives, are going to be in the Middle East.

"Is it to build democracy? Is it security? Is it stability? Is it to have protection of human rights?"

The answers to those questions aren't clear, according to Hoekstra.

"We have not gotten a consistent message out of the Obama administration. … We're not satisfied with the Muslim Brotherhood, but clearly America needs to articulate what our priorities and what our principles are. We have not done that,'' he said.

"Human rights abuses totally escalated under the Muslim Brotherhood and this administration never stood up to Morsi and his government."

On the subject of the Obama administration's sudden announcement of a one-year delay of a key part of the Affordable Care Act, Hoekstra called it a political move to buffer the effect of an already failing program.

"That makes us look an awful lot like a banana republic rather than a constitutional government where you actually pass laws and you live by the laws that you implement," he said.

"What the president is now saying is that the mandate that every company over 50 employees pay a penalty or provide healthcare is not workable. It's very, very unpopular, so he's going to delay it … for a year so it goes out beyond the mid-term elections.

"It's no way to run a government, and if the president wants a delay in this then he should go back to Congress; he should negotiate with Congress," Hoekstra said.

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