WASHINGTON (Aug. 28)
Funds for Egypt in the Foreign Assistance Appropriations Bill, coming before Congress this week, will be attacked because of President Kennedy’s recent remarks justifying assistance to nations using their own resources to buy Soviet arms–a stand contradictory to the Keating-Halpern amendment to the Foreign Assistance Authorization Act adopted previously this summer.
Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, the amendment’s sponsor in the House, said today in a House speech that the President’s stand was “contrary to the intent” of the amendment. The President’s position emerged, said Rep. Halpern, “even before we have received the Foreign Assistance Appropriations Bill and in the face of the fact that the amendment was unanimously approved by this body and incorporated into the Act signed by the President himself.”
Rep. Halpern said that instead of promoting human welfare and peaceful development, the Egyptian regime is building up an arsenal of Soviet weapons in the Near East. “I do not see why the American taxpayer should finance, however indirectly, such expansion of the Soviet military supply network,” he stated.
He charged that while we are helping build up Nasser “we have denied Israel the right to purchase balancing arms from us for her own self-defense because Nasser might be annoyed.”
Rep. Halpern and other members of Congress were awaiting an explanation of the Executive Department’s attitude toward the Keating-Halpern amendment because it is only a matter of a few days before Congress will be asked to vote new aid authorizations for Egypt.