Clinton informs Congress about Egypt aid decision

Associated Press
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with reporters at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, following a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has notified Congress of her decision to waive democracy requirements on $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt.

The State Department says Clinton sent the notification to Capitol Hill on Friday, a day after she briefed lawmakers on the decision.

The step has been criticized by some as ignoring democratic backsliding and human rights violations by Egypt's military leaders.

Congressional sources and a senior Obama administration official had confirmed the decision on Thursday.

Clinton determined that it was in the U.S. national interest to allow $1.3 billion in military assistance to flow. She also certified that Egypt is meeting its obligations to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which frees up an additional $200 million in economic aid.