Funding Of Presidential Gifts And Grants To Middle East Countries

B-181244: Published: Oct 31, 1974. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1974.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed gifts given by U.S. presidents.

GAO noted that: (1) under provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, President Nixon had the legislative authority to give the helicopter to the Arab Republic of Egypt and to grant $10 million of U.S-owned Egyptian currency to an Egyptian charity; (2) although the grants were legal and did not contravene the letter of the law, the President's grant of a helicopter under the act's contingency fund provision, nevertheless was contrary to the intention of the sponsors of that provision; and (3) should Congress wish to prohibit these actions in the future, it should amend the act to clarify legislative intent or to further restrict the uses of those sections of the act.