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Congress threatens showdown over military aid to Egypt

Lawmakers in both the Senate and House warn against military aid to Egypt.
A military helicopter flies over riot police standing guard outside a police academy, where ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's second trial session was due to take place, on the outskirts of Cairo January 8, 2014. Mursi's arrival at the Cairo court where he was due to stand trial on Wednesday was delayed by poor weather, state TV reported. Mursi was due to be flown to the Cairo police academy where the court was due to convene. Mursi is currently in a jail near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Key lawmakers of both parties are warning the Obama administration of serious consequences if it resumes aid to Egypt's military government, including Apache attack helicopters needed to fight al-Qaeda-inspired Islamists in the Sinai.

Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress last week that the State Department would make a decision "in the days ahead" and made it clear that his "hope" was to reopen the aid spigot before Egyptian presidential elections that could take place as soon as next month. Democrats and Republicans who control the government's purse strings vowed in turn to put their foot down unless Egypt makes clear progress toward democracy.

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