Amid rocky US relations with Egypt, a Republican congresswoman Friday held up a request by the Obama administration for $450 million in cash for Cairo, saying it needed new scrutiny.
The lawmaker, who is from Texas and chairs the Appropriations Subcommitee on State and Foreign Relations, put a "hold" on the application, meaning it could be held up indefinitely.
"This proposal comes to Congress at a point when the US-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so," Kay Granger said in a statement.
"I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time. As Chair of the Subcommittee, I have placed a hold on these funds."
The purpose of the funds could not be immediately confirmed. But an official said the money, requested Friday, was part of a package worth $1 billion that Obama pledged to Cairo last year to aid its “transition to democracy” following its revolution.
Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama sparked intrigue over the state of US ties with Egypt after he said the country, in the post-Hosni Mubarak era, was neither a friend nor a foe. Analysts say that Washington appears to be still calibrating its likely future relations with the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Mursi.