Tag Archive: Ed Royce


By Julian Pecquet – 03/09/13 12:00 PM ET

Secretary of State John Kerry had hoped to offer considerably more aid to Egypt than the $250 million he announced during his trip to Cairo but was blocked by Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said.

“This is not the aid package that the administration wanted to announce,” Royce told The Hill. The administration wanted to release a “larger sum,” but bowed to the wishes of Royce’s committee as well as congressional appropriators, he said.Royce wouldn’t say how much Kerry had hoped to announce, but the State Department has been pressing Congress to greenlight $450 million in direct aid since last fall.

“Our approach is not the full-throttle administration approach of delivering all the aid that they wanted to deliver, but rather a measured approach of tying tranches to results as it pertains to the peace treaty with Israel, to cooperation with respect to smuggling [into Gaza] and with respect to economic reforms to guarantee civil rights and the rule of law within Egypt,” he said. “That’s the pressure that we’re applying.”

Kerry announced the new aid package last Sunday during a stop in Cairo as part of his first trip overseas. The money includes $190 million in budgetary support that’s part of the $1 billion in debt relief President Obama pledged in 2011, along with $60 million for an enterprise fund.

The aid, Kerry said, was a “good-faith effort to spur reform and help the Egyptian people at this difficult time.”

The $190 million comes from the $450 million cash transfer the administration proposed last year to give to Egypt to shore up an economy hammered by the Arab Spring. That money would be culled from funds left over from past Egypt appropriations going back to 2006 (the country gets $1.3 billion in military aid and another $250 million in economic aid every year under the terms of the 1978 Camp David accords leading to peace with Israel).

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Kerry Says U.S. to Give Egypt $250 Million Amid Mursi Pledges

By Nicole Gaouette – Mar 3, 2013 3:13 PM CT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, during his first trip to Egypt in the role, said yesterday that the U.S. government will release $250 million of a pledged $1 billion in aid to the country in response to commitments by President Mohamed Mursi to make economic and political changes.

The announcement followed a meeting in Cairo yesterday with Mursi and is part of “a good-faith effort to spur reform and help the Egyptian people at this difficult time,” Kerry said in a statement.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s 24-hour visit was meant to help Egypt break out of political and economic paralysis as it heads toward April elections that the secular opposition plans to boycott. Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images

Kerry’s 24-hour visit was meant to help Egypt break out of political and economic paralysis as it heads toward April elections that the secular opposition plans to boycott. The standoff has complicated Egypt’s attempts to enact changes required for a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan.

Kerry urged Egyptians to hold transparent elections and respect rights and freedoms, particularly of women and religious minorities.

“Over the past couple of days in Egypt, I have listened to a broad cross-section of political leaders, business leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations,” Kerry said. “The people I met shared their deep concern about the political course of their country, the need to strengthen human rights protections, justice and the rule of law, and their fundamental anxiety about the economic future of Egypt,” he said.

Egyptian Exports

Kerry also announced a decision to expand a program that allows Egyptian companies to export products from qualifying zones to the U.S. tariff-free. The zones are mostly along the border with Israel and the goods must include 10 percent Israeli content, said a U.S. official traveling with Kerry who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said that in Kerry’s talks, business leaders, NGOs and government officials all recognized that Egypt’s political crisis, its economic woes, and the challenge of qualifying for the IMF loan were linked.


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Cable from Chris Stevens was chock full of reports on regional violence, concerns about local security capabilities
  January 22, 2013 | BY John Solomon
Washington Guardian
Why It Matters:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a farewell appearance before Congress to address questions about the Benghazi terror attack last Sept. 11, and likely will be confronted by the very warning her ambassador from Libya sent just hours before his death.

Just hours before he died in a terrorist attack at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent a cable to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painting a chaotic, violent portrait of the eastern Libya city and warning that local militias were threatening to pull the security they afforded U.S. officials.

Militia leaders told U.S. officials just two days before the attack that they were angered by U.S. support of a particular candidate for Libyan prime minister and warned “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,” Stevens wrote in the cable the morning of Sept. 11, 2012.  He also cited several other episodes that raised questions about the reliability of local Libya security.

“Growing problems with security would discourage foreign investment and led to persistent economic stagnation in eastern Libya,” Stevens cautioned.

The Washington Guardian obtained a copy of the memo, a weekly summary of events in Libya dated just hours before a band of terrorists struck the unofficial U.S. consulate in Benghazi and a neaby annex building where the CIA operated, killing the ambassador and three other Americans.

Stevens’ cable is likely to become a central focus of congressional hearings that begin Wednesday — hearings where Clinton will be pressed to explain why security for diplomats in the region wasn’t increased in the weeks before the attack and why so much reliance was placed on local security forces with dubious loyalties.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee led by its new chairman, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., is leading the investigation in that chamber, while the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has its own hearing.

Among the questions lawmakers in both parties are likely to probe is why the State Department turned down a request in August that a special military security team extend its stay in the region, and why U.S. officials relied so heavily on local security tied to militias, a concern Stevens himself had flagged.

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Hillary Clinton Testifies at Benghazi Attack Hearing: Cites Lack of Funding in Global Outposts

Bombshell: Clinton Ordered More Security In Benghazi, Obama Denied Request

Published on Oct 26, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered additional security for the U.S. mission in Benghazi ahead of the terrorist attack but the orders were never carried out, according to “legal counsel” to Clinton who spoke to best-selling author Ed Klein. Those same sources also say former President Bill Clinton has been “urging” his wife to release official State Department documents that prove she called for additional security at the compound in Libya, which would almost certainly result in President Obama losing the election.

OBAMA CONFRONTED ON BENGHAZI – Stutters Through Response

Chaffetz: State Dept Hiding Benghazi Survivors

Published on Dec 14, 2012

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) says he has been “thwarted” by the State Department from seeing any Americans who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Many people forget that there were Americans who survived the Benghazi attack, some of whom were badly injured and are still recovering.


Only Suspect Held for Benghazi Consulate Attack Released

Published on Jan 8, 2013

Dozens of people may have been involved in Sept. 11 attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but authorities have been unable to identify them from the security tapes. Gwen Ifill talk to McClatchy Newspapers’ Nancy Youssef about efforts in Libya to find the attackers.

Beyond Benghazi: Partisan Rift over Susan Rice Ignores Record on War, Africa and Keystone XL

Published on Dec 12, 2012

DemocracyNow.org – We look at the ongoing debate surrounding the potential appointment of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice as the successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. For weeks, Republicans have campaigned against Rice, accusing her of misleading the public about the deadly September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. We’re joined by Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst who argues Rice’s nomination should be opposed not over Benghazi, but for her record while serving under the Clinton and Obama administrations, as well her financial interests in the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

To watch the entire weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org.

Susan Rice: Keystone pipeline Secretary of State?

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has been under fire lately over the Benghazi attacks and many critics claim she mislead the American people with the details of the incident. There are reports alleging that Rice might be appointed the Secretary of State and many have questioned her ability to handle the job. But is the mainstream media focusing on the wrong thing? Will her investments pose a conflict of interest? Michael Brooks, producer for The Majority Report, brings us more on Rice.

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