Washington split on Egypt aid, raising more questions on who the US backs

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from FoxNews,

Washington appeared no closer Sunday to agreeing on whether to cut U.S. aid to Egypt, raising further questions about which side the United States is taking amid the escalating and deadly political protests in the Middle East country.

The disagreement divides political parties as well as the White House, the Senate and the House, roughly five weeks after the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist and member of the Muslim Brotherhood political party.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that foreign aid essentially goes to “dictators and despots,” which doesn’t help the United States “win the hearts and minds of the people.”

The U.S. gives Egypt about $1.5 billion annually, second only to the roughly $3 billion given each year to Israel.

One of the biggest issues is whether Morsi was removed in a military coup, which would mean U.S. aid would automatically be suspended.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told Fox News the U.S. should continue to supply aid, but only on a “conditional” basis, which included the military’s release of political prisoners and restoring the rule of law.

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