Federal Action Alert – Jan. 30, 2022

Produced by the Legislative Committee of the Coconino County Democratic Party and the Democrats of the Red Rocks

THIS WEEK’S ALERTS:   To President Biden – Thanks for nominating an African American Woman to the Supreme Court and Why Are You Giving Human Rights Violator Egypt Billions in Weapons When You Promised Us a Human Rights Centric Foreign Policy?  

We’ll get back to Federal Legislation once Build Back Better is separated out and introduced and other important issues develop in Congress. For now, two items for President Biden

A.  To President Biden:  Thanks for his anticipated nomination of an African-American woman to the Supreme Court!

Sample script to President Biden:  I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you are committed to nominating an African-American woman as our next Supreme Court Justice!  It is so important that the Justices of the highest court in our land look like America and represent a wide variety of lived experience.  In over 240 years of our nation’s history nomination of an African-American woman is long overdue.  Thank you!  

PRESIDENT BIDEN: email to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ or leave a message on the comment line at (202) 456-1111.

Twitter: @POTUS

B.  To President Biden: Walk the Talk on Human Rights When Approving Arms Deals to Our “Allies”.  

Candidate Biden promised to put “human rights at the center of our foreign policy.”  If he can’t do this with our allies, how can he do it with our foes?  Egypt’s human rights record is horrible.  After overthrowing the elected government in a military coup, General Sisi’s Egypt has shut down opposition parties and human rights groups, effectively silenced a free press, jailed thousands of political prisoners often without trial, and has tortured and executed many of its opponents. (See Amnesty International: 2020 Country Report – Egypt).  

Yet, on January 25, 2022 the Biden Administration approved a $2.5 billion sale of weapons to Egypt a huge increase from the previous year.  While the Administration has withheld a small portion of military aid from Egypt based on its human rights violations, the massive increase in military sales more than offsets this reduction and shows it is meaningless.  

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 provides that no assistance is to be provided to a government a government of any country whose democratically elected leader is deposed by military coup, or which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.   See 22 US Code § 8422.  

The reputation of the United States has always plunged when we back tyrannical governments (witness our backing of repressive regimes in SE Asia, South and Central America).  Can Biden just follow the law and walk his talk on human rights? 

Sample script to President Biden:  

As a candidate you promised to put human rights as the center of our foreign policy.  I voted for you, in part, because of this pledge.  Yet, last week your administration announced it was approving a $2.5 billion weapons package to Egypt, one of the worst human rights offenders of our allies. Withholding only a small percentage of that huge package does nothing to significantly improve human rights in Egypt.  We know from history the backing of dictators and selling them military weapons breeds widespread hatred of the United States.  No perceived strategic advantage in the support of dictators is worth that.”  
PRESIDENT BIDEN: email to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ or leave a message on the comment line at (202) 456-1111.

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