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Lawmakers split on cutting off aid to Egypt

Sunday - 8/18/2013, 3:20pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress are split over whether the U.S. should cut off military aid to Egypt in light of the deadly violence there.

Democratic leaders have generally supported the president's decision to continue the aid, but Rep. Keith Ellison wants to halt it. The Minnesota Democrat tells ABC's "This Week" that the U.S. should "cut off aid but engage in intense diplomacy."

Ellison says aid should be suspended until Egypt ends "the bloodshed in the street" and sets up a path toward democracy. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress and is co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Among Republicans, there are growing calls to eliminate military aid to Egypt. But others are more hesitant, including Peter King of New York, who chairs the House panel on counterterrorism and intelligence. King tells "Fox News Sunday" that curtailing aid could reduce U.S. influence over Egypt's interim government, which controls access to strategic resources, including the Suez Canal.

On CNN's "State of the Union," John McCain renewed his call to stop the aid. The senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said "to sit by and watch this happen is a violation of everything that we stood for."

%@AP Links

118-a-11-(Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in interview)-"our national interest"-Republican Senator Bob Corker, who has resisted calls to cut off aid to Egypt, is rethinking his position. COURTESY: ABC's 'This Week' ((mandatory on-air credit)) (18 Aug 2013)

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104-a-11-(Representative Peter King, R-N.Y., member, House Homeland Security Committee, in interview)-"with the military"-Republican Congressman Peter King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, says cutting off aid could reduce U.S. influence over Egypt's interim government, where the military controls access to strategic resources. COURTESY: "Fox News Sunday" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (18 Aug 2013)

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