Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after introducing a resolution (H.Res. 87) calling for the Obama Administration to stop sending F-16s to Egypt:
"For the past week, President Obama has desperately attempted to scare Americans over the sequester -- even cancelling the USS Harry S. Truman's return to the Persian Gulf. At the same time, he's completely ignored the fact that U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for Egypt's brand new weapons and equipment. Before we continue providing this military support, Egypt's newly established government must demonstrate its support for the U.S. and Israel, our closest ally in the region. My resolution underscores our commitment to protecting America's national security and taxpayers."
The deal to provide 20 F-16s to the Egyptian government originated in 2009, when Hosni Mubarak was still president and the proposal was presented to Congress through the Foreign Military Financing Program (FMFP). In 2010, the U.S. government awarded a $213 million contract to Lockheed Martin for the production of 20 new F-16 aircraft for Egypt. Since then, Egypt has undergone a significant political shift, and the radical Muslim Brotherhood is now considered the most powerful political player in Egypt. Its former leader, Mohamed Morsi, now serves as Egypt's president.
Although four F-16s have already been delivered to Egypt, Griffin has been pushing the White House to stop the transfer of additional aircraft and other military assistance until Egypt's government demonstrates its alliance with the U.S. and respect for Israel and its people.
Last month, Griffin raised this issue in a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.