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Is Congress backing Sisi's battle against Islamists?

Lawmakers declined to grill Secretary of State John Kerry on military assistance to Egypt.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on review FY2016 funding request and budget justification for the State Department on Capitol Hill in Washington February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR4QYYX

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers did not raise any objections to a proposed $1.3 billion military assistance package for Egypt during two days of hearings with Secretary of State John Kerry. Their silence is the clearest sign yet that Congress is lining up behind President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he takes on Islamic State (IS) and other Islamists.

The lack of questioning stands in stark contrast with the past few years, when US assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi — and to Sisi after the former military chief overthrew him — dominated State Department budget hearings. Even as recently as December, top lawmakers writing the annual spending bill clashed over the conditions for restoring military aid and whether to give Kerry the authority to waive provisions requiring him to certify Egypt's progress on certain democracy and human rights standards.

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