|Rep. Vern Buchanan
WASHINGTON – Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi’s decree granting himself absolute power over his country's judiciary is further grounds for the immediate suspension of U.S. aid, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) said on Monday.
“The actions taken by President Morsi are unacceptable and more in line with those of the dictator he replaced,” said Buchanan. “While I recognize the efforts taken by Morsi to broker a cease fire between Israel and Hamas, it is time for him to bring his own country together, not pull it apart at the seams.”
NBC News reported that “Morsi, who became the country’s first democratically-elected president on June 30, issued a decree of near-total executive power to elevate himself to Pharaoh-like status.”
Last week, Congressman Buchanan called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suspend U.S. aid to Egypt saying “American taxpayer dollars should not be used to aid and abet any nation that stands with terrorists.”
“Sending billions of hard earned American dollars to a country that supports Hamas is immoral,” said Buchanan. “This year alone, Hamas has orchestrated the firing of over 1,000 rockets and missiles into southern Israel. Yet Egypt openly allies itself with this terrorist group and publicly condemns Israel’s right to defend itself. It’s time to prove through our actions not our words that Israel has our unwavering support.”
Since 1979, Egypt has been the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, receiving an average of $2 billion annually. Last year alone, the White House agreed to provide Egypt with $1 billion in debt relief. Morsi is scheduled to meet with Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council, as judges try to persuade the president to limit the sweeping powers he granted himself last week.