California Congressman Adam Schiff wants to cut and revamp aid to Egypt as a retaliatory move for what he calls the country's "absolutely unacceptable" decision to jail three Al-Jazeera English journalists.
The Los Angeles Democrat, who co-chairs the Congressional Caucus for the Freedom of the Press, said journalism isn't a crime.
"Reporters must be allowed to report the news, regardless of whether the government agrees with their editorial decisions or not," he said in a statement. "Journalism should be celebrated as an expression of a country’s devotion to freedom of information and democracy, and this is not the way a democracy, or even a country in transition back to a democracy, should act."
Egypt receives $1.3M in US military aid and $250M in economic assistance.
The House Appropriations Committee, of which Schiff is a member, today maintained the current level of funding.
The Congressman wanted to cut the aid package by least 33 percent.