Vern Buchanan Stays the Course on Cutting Foreign Aid to Egypt

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: July 10, 2013 3:55 AM
Vern Buchanan and Protesters
While at least two of Florida's Republican congressmen are adopting a wait-and-see approach to continued foreign assistance to Egypt, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is having none of it.

“The American taxpayer should not be funding an Egyptian military that just yesterday massacred 50 of its own people,” Buchanan said in a statement Tuesday, in reference to the 53 people killed and more than 400 wounded on Monday when Egyptian soldiers opened fire on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. “When is Washington going to wake up and realize that we cannot buy friendships across the globe?”

Last week, in response to a series of anti-Morsi demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian cities. the head of the nation's armed forces, Gen. Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, deposed Morsi, who had been democratically elected a little over a year ago. Replacing Morsi is Adly Mansour, a jurist who heads Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court.

Morsi, a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, had come under fire from the country's moderate Muslims and the Christian minority for his moves to strengthen the country's imposition of sharia, the traditional Muslim legal system that discriminates against women and non-Muslims.

The Obama administration has so far declined to officially characterize the deposition as a "coup"; doing so would trigger federal statutes that would make Egypt ineligible for further taxpayer subsidies. 

Buchanan has been a steadfast critic of American foreign aid to Middle Eastern countries, especially Syria and Egypt, whose citizens have elected leaders more sympathetic to Islamic law than the socialist dictators toppled by the "Arab Spring" revolutions. Buchanan has sponsored legislation that would suspend all military and foreign assistance to Egypt, which since 1979 has been the second largest recipient, to the tune of about $2 billion every year.

U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho and Trey Radel have told Sunshine State News they're taking a "wait-and-see" approach to developments in Egypt, before they decide whether foreign aid to the country should continue. Both have expressed cautious optimism about last week's developments, though Yoho insists foreign aid should be suspended until it becomes clear the new regime moves the country in the direction of more robust civil liberties protections.

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at 954-235-9116. 

Comments (7)

Patricia Graefe
10:12AM JUL 11TH 2013
All foreign aid should be suspended and that money used to pay our debts. Our country is broke and we need to pay our bills before sending taxpayers money to foreign lands. Like our home budgets; bills are paid first and then charity. It is disgraceful that we cannot pay our bills and borrow money from foreign countries. This is crazy and why cannot the "people in power" realize this? Taxpayers truly have no say in this. Voting people out of office is next to impossible. This is my 2 cents.
11:11PM JUL 10TH 2013
Vern, What about the fact that we're not supposed to send money to ANY country that has just experienced a Military Coup? The plain reality is tha "foriegn aid" does nothing more than take money from poor people here and give it to rich people over there. ALL of it should just stop.
5:00PM JUL 10TH 2013
We send money to keep Egypt off of ISRAEL!
ISRAEL is at peace as long as we pay off Egypt.
It has been this way since 74. And THAT border has been at peace.
I imagine, Syria would LOVE to see Egypt get bent out of shape with Israel.
A COMMON enemy would be GREAT for Syria.

So the answer:

Israel's safety hinges on keeping Egypt happy.
William in Tampa
9:23AM JUL 10TH 2013
In the total history of mankind, Egypt falls right in there with THE ANCIENTS. Up t is time, they have worked their own problems - This is a wonderful thing.

Why not let history repeat itself? They have proven that they can solve their own problems (AND WITHOUT U.S. AID!) for a very long time...

Let's make it a HANDS OFF as far as our involvement....
Anne Starr
8:48AM JUL 10TH 2013
Why we continue to send money to Egypt is a real head scratcher for me! We have plenty of our own economic problems....right here at home! Pouring money into Egypt is like pouring it into a big, deep hole. Enough!
Duane Overholt
7:03AM JUL 10TH 2013
Vern you want the middle to evolve into conflict to misdirect voters here from opening their eyes and seeing what you and others are doing here. You want what Morsi was trying to do.

Destroy civil liberties, past laws to protect a few and not the majority, move women's rights back to the 1920's, make it so that the only ones that can afford college are the privileged and rich, cut the life span of all seniors except wealthy ones that can afford treatment and do not need support, gut consumer rights to recover loses due to fraud by passing laws that protect business only and do not make them accountable for bad acts that harm, (like your own businesses), and more.
The real shame is that the voters are allowing themselves to be used and conned by a used car salesman. Just wait until you voters get your 30 percent higher tax bill for this and future years. Because Vern protected himself and his upper 2 percent friends from a tax increase. 2 percent protected and 98 percent sold down the river. Sounds like what Morsi was doing. No wonder you want to support him VERN.
Duane Overholt
6:44AM JUL 10TH 2013
Vern: Is this response because you do not like the nation next to Egypt. You want to destroy that influence.
Pull the funding and you will see radicals continue to take over the nation. That will spread to many other middle east nations. You will see the continued crushing of woman rights, minorities, students(except religious supported men), consumer rights, freedom of the press and more. Morsi was taking the nation into the same direction as Iran. He was pushing civil liberties backward and not freedom.
OH I am sorry Vern. You believe in and are already crushing or trying to crush the same named issues here. With one catch of course. You want the rich 2 percent to control everything, gut the middle class and then you and friends can do what you want, to whom they want and when they want.
Voters wise up. Supporters wise up. See Vern for what he is. A used car con artist and you continue to be fooled by him. The shame is starting to fall on you the voters.

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