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    Big Stories , World

White House proposes $800 million in economic aid to Arab Spring countries

Some legislators favor cutting off aid to Egypt entirely if it does not drop accusations against American democracy activists and lift a travel ban on them.

People line up to vote on the Egyptian Constitutional referendum in the desert.

People line up to vote on the Egyptian Constitutional referendum in the desert.

The White House under Barack Obama has proposed $800 million in new aid to countries in the Middle East undergoing political transition including Yemen and Tunisia.

The administration plans to keep giving aid to Egypt a year after the country underwent a political revolution with the ousting of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

The U.S. currently gives $1.3 billion to Egypt in foreign aid, even as U.S. aid workers are being held at the American embassy in Cairo and worries of a political takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic based political party that has expressed opposition to the U.S. role in Egypt.

The proposals are part of President Obama’s budget request for fiscal year 2013, which begins October 1. His requests need the approval of Congress, where some lawmakers want to cut overseas spending to address U.S. budget shortfalls and are particularly angry at Egypt.

President Obama’s new budget aims to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion dollars in the next decade with cuts to the military and medicare and tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans.

An additional $8.2 billion in foreign aid to war zone countries includes $3.3 billion for Afghanistan, $1 billion for Pakistan, and $4 billion for Iraq for police training.


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