Some question financial aid to Egypt, Libya - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Some question financial aid to Egypt, Libya

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ATLANTA -

Some local Georgians are agreeing with calls to stop America tax dollars flowing to Libya and Egypt.

The U.S. annually sends $1.6 billion in aid to Egypt and another $400 million to Libya.

Some members of Congress said that the U.S. should halt the aid after the murders of ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the Libyan consulate and unrest at the American embassy in Cairo. They believe no more money should be given until the events surrounding the deadly attacks have been investigated.

"You know, I think these events bring to life that we need to have a debate in our country about whether we should send U.S. taxpayers' money to countries that cannot or will not protect our embassies and I personally think that until we can be assured that they can protect our embassies and will, we shouldn't send them another penny until the assassins are captured and brought to justice in Libya. They shouldn't get another dime," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

With money tight on the home front, some local residents also wonder if that money could be better spent here.     

Denise Bradley recently underwent open heart surgery and is now trying to get a taxpayer-funded disability. She is not a fan of U.S. funds going to the Middle East.

"We should just keep it to ourselves until we see what happened with all of that," said Bradley.

William Corbin said the money could be used to take care of veterans.

"Why don't you just use that money that we're sending there to the people that's coming back, some with no homes, they're coming back crippled," said Corbin.

So why not pull American tax dollars out of Libya and Egypt? Well consider oil and wheat.

Emory University professor and Middle East expert Ken Stein says that without American dollars, the 106-mile Suez Canal could shut off U.S. imports of foreign oil and exports of U.S. wheat.

Egypt gets 90 percent of its wheat from Australia, the U.S. and Russia. With new leadership in Libya and Egypt, Stein said he worries about future alignments.

"Are you going to drive this guy more and more toward Moscow? Is that what your goal is," said Stein.

Stein says the Middle East is a complicated region which takes a delicate balance in foreign policy.

"There are consequences for your actions and it's not just easy saying, ‘Let's just stop writing the checks,'" said Stein.

Stein says you have to understand the context of American foreign policy and our interest. The region is still going through its transformation we don't know where it's going to come out.

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