As violence erupted in the streets of Egypt this week, some Americans have raised concerns about the government's aid to its Arab ally.
According to The Boston Globe, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that American taxpayers have funneled more than $60 billion into Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak came to power in 1981. Approximately $34 billion came in the form of grants that required Egypt to purchase American-made military equipment.
Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group, claims that more money should have been directed toward the nation's economic development, which may have helped prevent the recent turmoil.
"When you think about the aid, a large portion of it is very self-serving. It gets funneled right back to the United States," Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, told the news provider.
Although the government's aid to the Egyptian military has remained steady over the last decade — at about $1.3 billion per year — the civilian economic assistance has dropped at a rate of about $40 million per year, according to the CRS.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations, has urged fellow lawmakers to use caution when deciding on future aid for Egypt. Although many critics have called on the U.S. to relinquish its funding, Granger said that Congress must look at the bigger picture — Egypt's peace agreement with Israel and its influence in the Middle East — rather than hastily respond to recent events.