Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, the body that oversees American foreign aid, warned Egypt on Wednesday that unless President Mubarak steps down and the violence stops, Egypt will lose its financial assistance from the United States. In an interview on MSNBC, Leahy told Cenk Uygur:
"Time has run out, and the options that might have been available to President Mubarak three or four years ago are not there now. It is unrealistic to think he can wait until elections in September. It also does not help his position to have people -- actually thugs -- in the street that appear to be government sponsored."
The senator said aid will be discontinued sooner rather than later. "We have a lot of aid in the pipeline now," he explained. "That pipeline will be turned off. There is nobody -- Republican or Democratic -- in the Senate or I suspect in the House that is going to vote for an aid package for Egypt under these circumstances."
The senator made it cear that the United States will continue assistance to Egypt if a new leader assumes power: "Aid will continue to Egypt if you have someone who's come in with credibility who is trying to help the people, trying to help those who are unemployed, those who are not being fed."
In a different segment Leahy also said that Mubarak's efforts to fight the protests are futile saying,"I think it is him saying I don't want to leave, and I think it's an act of desperation."