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Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations

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Technical Report

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Congressional Research Service Washington United States

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This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. Successive U.S. Administrations have routinely justified aid to Egypt as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running cooperation with the Egyptian military and on sustaining the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. U.S. policymakers are now debating complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations, and these debates and events in Egypt are shaping consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 114th Congress. Between 1948 and 2015, the United States provided Egypt with 76 billion in bilateral foreign aid calculated in historical dollarsnot adjusted for inflation, including 1.3 billion a year in military aid from 1987 to the present. This report discusses the conditions governing the release of these funds. All U.S. foreign aid to Egypt or any foreign recipient is appropriated and authorized by Congress. All U.S. military aid to Egypt finances the procurement of weapons systems and services from U.S. defense contractors.P.L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, provides a total of 1,456.3 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt. It contains conditions on U.S. assistance to Egypt that are similar to what Congress included in the FY2015 appropriations act P.L. 113-235, including an executive branch national security waiver in Section 7041a3B, which, if exercised, would remove the limits imposed by Congress preventing the provision of assistance to Egypt until its government met democracy-based conditions. For FY2017, the President has requested that Congress appropriate 1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt. The President also is asking Congress to provide 150 million in economic aid.

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