Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called for an end to foreign aid for Egypt, saying that the military coup that took place today disqualifies the new government from receiving American assistance under U.S. law.

“[O]ur law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree,” Leahy said today.  “As we work on the new budget, my committee also will review future aid to the Egyptian government as we wait for a clearer picture.  As the world’s oldest democracy, this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principle that transfers of power should be by the ballot, not by force of arms.”

Leahy took care not to sound supportive of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed in the midst of massive protests against his efforts to consolidate power and implement the sharia-based program of his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood.

“[Morsi] squandered an historic opportunity, preferring to govern by fiat rather than work with other political parties to do what is best for all Egyptians,” Leahy said. “Egypt’s military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise.”