We can no longer provide economic aid without conditions to governments like Egypt. That is why earlier this year I introduced H.R. 416 — the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Promotion Act — that would cut off aid to Egypt unless it meets certain criteria that is in the interests of our national security. And I hope to work with my colleagues to ensure that we continue to re-evaluate all of our foreign assistance programs to ensure maximum return.
Morsi’s actions clearly show that the Muslim Brotherhood-led government is not interested in bringing true democracy to Egypt. They hastily drafted a constitution that incorporates Sharia law, leaving out crucial protections for ethnic and religious minorities.
The regime remains unabashed over its crackdown on human rights. A number of human rights organizations claim that the conditions are even worse now than they were during Mubarak’s reign. With Morsi calling Jews “bloodsuckers . . . descendants of apes and pigs” as well as other anti-Semitic, anti-Israel remarks, one can’t help but question the government’s true intentions.
Instead of aiding the Morsi regime, the U.S. should instead spend that money on building and sustaining civil society programs and funding institutions that will promote democratic values and the rule of law in Egypt. The U.S. government must send a clear message indicating our commitment to advancing the cause of freedom and human dignity, while also defending our security interest abroad.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican representing the 27th district in Florida, is chairman emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and current chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.