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How Egypt’s Coup Could Impact U.S. Foreign Assistance

How Egypt’s Coup Could Impact U.S. Foreign Assistance

Boris Zilberman
3rd July 2013 - FDD Policy Brief

The Egyptian military coup against President Mohammad Morsi could lead to the suspension of Washington’s assistance to Cairo.

According to Section 7008 of the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 112-74), aid administered by the State Department and USAID is banned to the government of any country where a military coup or decree has overthrown a democratically-elected government. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) points out that, “Similar provisions have been included in annual foreign operations appropriations legislation since at least 1985, and have been carried over into FY2013 via continuing resolution.”

In President Obama’s FY14 budget request, Egypt is slated to receive $1.3 billion in military aid, known as Foreign Military Financing (FMF). FMF is administered by the State Department’s Office of Plans, Policy and Analysis. Egypt is also slated to receive $250 million in economic aid, which is administered by USAID. The full $1.55 billion in FY14 could be subject to section 7008.

Section 7008 prohibits “any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree or… in which the military plays a decisive role.” It also makes it clear that, “assistance may be resumed to such government if the President determines and certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that subsequent to the termination of assistance a democratically elected government has taken office.” However, those funds “shall not apply to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes.”

Whether or not Washington describes today’s dramatic events as a “revolution” or “coup” could guide US policy, but it will be hard to argue that the military did not play a decisive role. Accordingly, U.S. financial assistance to Egypt is likely to be the subject of significant debate.

Boris Zilberman is deputy director of congressional relations at Foundation for Defense of Democracies 

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arab-spring, congress, coup-d'etat, egypt, foreign-aid, mohammed-morsi, muslim-brotherhood