US House votes to deny all aid to Saudi Arabia

The US House of Representatives has voted to deny all aid to Saudi Arabia, despite repeated assurances by the administration it was cooperating with the United States in the "war on terror."

US House votes to deny all aid to Saudi Arabia
The US House of Representatives has voted to deny all aid to Saudi Arabia, despite repeated assurances by the administration it was cooperating with the United States in the "war on terror."

The ban is contained in a little-publicized amendment quietly slipped by a bipartisan group of lawmakers into a 34.2-billion-dollar bill financing US foreign operations in fiscal 2008.

The massive bill, featuring a wide range of humanitarian programs, was approved by lawmakers in the middle of the night on Friday.

Similar measures on aid to Saudi Arabia have been passed by the House before. But the current one goes a step further by closing a legislative loophole that in the past had allowed the administration of President George W. Bush to waive these bans by invoking requirements of the war on terror.

The amendment, championed by New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, a strong supporter of Israel, states that “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available” by the foreign operations bill “shall be obligated or expended to finance any assistance to Saudi Arabia” or “used to execute a waiver.”

While oil-rich Saudi Arabia has never been a large recipient of US aid, the Bush administration channeled a total of more than 2.5 million dollars to the kingdom in fiscal 2005 and 2006 as part of their partnership in the war on terror, congressional officials said.

Neither Saudi diplomats nor administration officials have publicly commented on the House vote.
Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2007, 12:28
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