Graham Warns Egypt it Could Lose U.S. Aid

Fred Lucas | November 19, 2012 | 1:17pm EST
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a vocal opponent of a measure to withhold federal funding from countries that propose a potential threat to Americans, issued a warning to Egypt on Sunday that it risks losing U.S. assistance.

“Egypt -- watch what you do and how you do it. You’re teetering with the Congress on having your aid cut off, if you keep inciting violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Graham said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Graham, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee foreign operations subcommittee, made the comment after his interview had wrapped up, as a parting shot after discussing the Benghazi attack and other matters.

Graham was among the leading Republicans opposed to a measure introduced in the Senate in October by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have stripped foreign aid from Libya, Egypt and Pakistan until they meet certain conditions. Only 10 senators voted for the measure.

During the 2012 election campaign, Paul’s political action committee -- RANDPAC -- ran ads criticizing three Democratic senators for voting against his bill: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

In an unusual step, Graham joined the Manchin campaign on a conference call to reporters in October where Graham criticized Paul’s PAC ad against Manchin.

During the Manchin conference call, Graham said: “Rand Paul is a good man. I like working with him on entitlement reform, but he has a little different world view than I do,” Congressional Quarterly reported.

Graham went on to say: “I would very much like to have a Republican-controlled Senate. But when it comes to foreign policy and matters of war and national security, I really do try to be bipartisan, and I respect Joe (Manchin) a lot."

In further critiquing the Paul proposal, CQ quoted Graham in October saying foreign aid, “is designed to create leverage so we influence the world and not have the world just run us over, and at the end of the day, I believe America should be involved in our national security. We shouldn't turn over decisions of where we go and what we do to terrorists.”

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