US President Trump at the White House. REUTERS
Egypt, along with Israel and Jordan, was excluded from a decision by the White House to enact deep cuts to domestic and foreign spending omnibus spending package in December, according to Al-Monitor.
"The White House notified Congress on Thursday night of the president’s intent to cut $27.4 billion in government spending, including funding for overseas vaccination programs, treatment of HIV/AIDS, migrant and refugee assistance, the Environmental Protection Agency and foreign cultural exchange programs," according to Al-Monitor report on Friday.
President Donald Trump had described the COVID relief bill in question as “wasteful spending.”
“It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,” Trump said in a speech in December.
“The bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment,” Trump said in a televised speech in December.
The White House had initially informed the Congress of its cuts decision, which would have meant a freeze on the annual $1.3 billion in economic and military aid for Egypt.
However, the cut was later removed after consultations between senior White House advisers before Congress was notified on Thursday, according to Al-Monitor.