Reuters reports: The United States is unlikely to pull its $1.5 billion in mostly military aid to Egypt any time soon, U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday, despite the Egyptian military takeover of the government in what the opposition has called a coup.
“We should continue to support the military, the one stabilizing force in Egypt that I think can temper down the political feuding,” U.S. Representative Mike Rogers said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, called instead on Washington to “help a process that will allow for more multiple factions of parties and beliefs to participate.”
Other lawmakers agreed Washington should use caution in responding to the turmoil in Egypt as it tries to transition to a democratic government.
While U.S. law calls for aid to be suspended if a country’s military ousts a democratically elected leader, the U.S. lawmakers appeared reluctant to do so.
Egypt’s powerful military ousted elected President Mohamed Mursi last week after massive street protests turned violent, blaming Mursi’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood for the clashes.
The Brotherhood, which called for additional protests on Sunday, has called Mursi’s ouster a coup and pledged to keep protesting until he is restored.
“What we should be doing right now is urging calmness, and asking the Muslim Brotherhood to act with some degree of responsibility as it relates to what is happening,” Senator Bob Corker, the senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told “Fox News Sunday.”
Neither Corker nor Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat, agreed with a recent statement by Republican colleague John McCain that the United States should suspend aid.
Corker said there would be “plenty of time to assess the aid issue” and the focus should be on the peaceful transition to a democratic government.