(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today regarding Egypt’s upcoming referendum on its constitution. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I am extremely concerned that Egypt has moved from one dictatorship to another while leaving democracy in the dust. Morsi has actively worked to suppress the voices of dissent and opposition in Egypt while incrementally increasing his own power. Even though he has taken steps to amend his most recent decree, precedent shows that this one step forward will likely be followed by two steps back. Moreover, Egypt’s upcoming referendum on the constitution was drafted almost entirely by Islamists, neglecting the interests of secular and Christian Egyptians.
“Yet despite these problematic measures, the Administration wants to proceed with giving Egypt $450 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars. The foreign aid we spend overseas is meant to help our allies and promote our interests, and at the moment, it is unclear whether our aid to Egypt is accomplishing either of these goals. We must leverage our aid to Egypt to promote accountability, reform, respect for the rule of law and human rights. We cannot afford to be throwing good money after bad, nor is it in our interests to be funding those who undermine our values.”
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 6657, the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Promotion Act, which conditions U.S. aid to Egypt upon certification that Egypt is not controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, actively transitioning to a free-market democratic government, has adopted and implemented legal reforms that protect the rights of all citizens, fully implementing the Israel-Egypt Peace treaty, and doing everything in its power to destroy the smuggling network between Egypt and Gaza.
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