[UPDATE: Poster tibmag has gently noted that the appropriation of $21.3 billion is a broader aid package, not a lump sum to Saudi Arabia. Mea culpa. –MS]
From Reuters: “House jabs Saudi Arabia in foreign aid bill”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives on Friday took a symbolic jab at Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of fueling religious extremism and violence, as it passed a $21.3 billion foreign aid bill.
Decrying Saudi Arabia for teaching intolerance and financing terrorism, lawmakers voted 312-97 to cut the $420,000 the oil-rich kingdom receives to participate in U.S.-backed military and counter-terrorism training.
“I hope my colleagues send a strong signal symbolically that enough is enough,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat.
Rep. Jim Kolbe, an Arizona Republican, said the measure would hurt efforts to foster Saudi Arabia as a partner in fighting terrorism. But his was a lonely voice.
Congress has passed similar measures in the past, but Bush has used a waiver to clear the funds to Saudi Arabia.