This week the United States suffered a great loss. On September 11, 2012, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were tragically killed during a violent protest in Benghazi, Libya. I strongly condemned the attacks that occurred on our diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. My deepest sympathies go out to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured.
I am disappointed in the response of the Administration. These senseless attacks were not warranted and we must not stand by while our sovereignty is violated. The Government of Libya should bring to justice the individuals who are responsible for this vicious attack. All foreign governments must fulfill their responsibilities to keep our diplomats safe and secure.
As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, it is my responsibility to oversee U.S. foreign assistance. This week, new questions were asked about our foreign aid as Congress passed a Continuing Resolution which contains funds for both Libya and Egypt. I want to be clear that even though there was funding in the bill, we can still stop aid from being delivered to these countries. This is exactly why I put $2.7 million of assistance to Libya on hold this week.
The same is true for Egypt. As I have said since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, we need to know exactly who we are working with before we provide assistance to a government that has not yet demonstrated they are a partner of the United States. That is why I put strict conditions on any funding for Egypt including requirements that they must fulfill their commitment to the peace treaty with Israel and that they must protect freedom of religion. It is also why I have put a hold on $18.3 million of their economic assistance.
Finally, the Administration committed to spend $1 billion to help relieve the Egyptian government of their debt obligations. The timing of this commitment could not come at a worse time. I want to assure you that if the Administration decides to move forward, I have the ability to stop it when I am notified.
I am watching the situation throughout the Middle East very closely. I want you to know that I take my oversight responsibilities very seriously. If you ever have any questions about U.S. foreign assistance please contact my office and we will help answer your questions.
Member of Congress