U.S. Senate approves bill to restore aid to Egypt
The United States Senate approved a bill Wednesday that restores aid to Egypt in full at $1.6 billion vis-a-vis granting U.S. President Barack Obama the "power to waive a federal law based on national security," according to Agence France-Presse Thursday.
The bill, drafted by Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, gives the President the power to waive a US coup law restriction for up to a year if "aid is deemed essential for national security."
The US had previously suspended aid to Egypt in October this year, deciding not to send previously planned shipments of 10 Apache helicopters worth $500 million, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and $260 million in cash assistance until Egypt could demonstrate that “credible progress” has been made "towards an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections."
In the case of Egypt, the new provision allows Obama to waive the coup policy until September 2015. Following September 2015, the Secretary of State will then have to declare whether or not a coup has taken place within 30 days of "a questionable change of power."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the legislation, with only Senator Rand Paul calling for a complete halt in U.S. aid to Egypt.