2007-07-06 / Community

Weiner:Prohibit Financial Ties To Saudi Arabia

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Representatives Anthony Weiner, Joseph Crowley, Mike Ferguson and Shelley Berkley, which prohibits the United States from providing any financial aid to Saudi Arabia. The legislation, passed as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, closes a loophole the Bush Administration has used in each of the last three years to ignore the will of Congress to cut off this aid.

In each of the past three years, Weiner has introduced and passed legislation in the House of Representatives banning U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia, only to see the Bush Administration use a waiver provision in the bill, or a loophole in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, to send even more aid to the Saudi Arabian government $2.53 million over fiscal years 2005 and 2006.

The Section 571 loophole in the Foreign Assistance Act allows the President to send as much anti-terror funding as he wants- without issuing a public certification- as long as it is used to "deter terrorism." The Weiner- Crowley amendment would close that loophole for good, by adding a clause to trump the Foreign Assistance Act, making the ban no longer subject to the section 571 loophole. Saudi Arabia has proven time and again that they are not steadfast American allies, by continuing to bankroll terrorist organizations that have attacked both the United States and Israel, supporting the Arab League boycott of Israel, and other transgressions against U.S interests and values.

Saudi Arabian Government Is Undermining The War In Iraq - As of May 2007, the Saudi Arabian government has made no official move to stop the 3,000 Saudi terrorists actively fighting U.S. troops in Iraq. Additionally, Sheik Saleh al- Liuhaidan, chief of the Saudi Arabian Judiciary, approved the transfer of money and men to Abu Musab Al- Zarqawi, former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia Exports Hate - Radical Saudi Arabian clerics preach hate towards the U.S, Israel, and their allies. 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians. 61 percent of all suicide bombers in Iraq are of Saudi Arabian descent.

Saudi Arabian Government Is Working Against Democracy - In February, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that 10 men arrested in Saudi Arabia were incarcerated for calling for democratic reforms in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia Is Actively Working Against U.S. in the West Bank and Gaza - The terrorist organization Hamas receives more than 50 percent of its financing from Saudi Arabia. In May of 2007 alone, the Saudi Arabian government planned to send $300 million to Hamas. In February, King Abdullah brokered a peace deal, which undermined Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's plans for a high-profile summit. King Abdullah's plan allowed for Hamas to continue the non-recognition of Israel. "When it comes to providing aid to countries like Saudi Arabia who actively work against U.S interests, we have only one choice, to cut the funds off entirely," said Rep. Weiner. "By cutting off aid and closing the loophole, we send a clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that they must be a true ally in advancing peace in the Middle East."

"The U.S. Congress must continue to make clear to Saudi Arabia that they cannot claim be our ally while its people provide support to terrorists who are a threat to regional stability in the Middle East and around the globe," Crowley said. "I am proud to work with Reps. Anthony Weiner, Mike Ferguson, and Shelley Berkley in sending a clear message that the United States will not continue to provide aid to the Saudi government so long as it continues to accept and tolerate hatred of the West and our allies."

"Saudi Arabia needs to be a partner with the United States and other nations in the effort to combat terrorism - unfortunately, that's not the case today," Ferguson said. "Saudi Arabia claims to be taking positive steps, but the facts demonstrate otherwise, and that's why this legislation is needed and important."

"While Saudi Arabia claims to be America's ally, their actions tell a far different tale, and we should not be rewarding their record of broken promises and disturbing terrorist ties. By continuing to promote and finance acts of terrorism, including those targeting innocent families, the Saudis are actively undermining our efforts to promote democracy and bring stability to the Middle East. Banning U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia sends a clear message that we will not stand by and watch as the Kingdom continues to promote policies that threaten America and our allies," said Congresswoman Berkley.

Each of the last three years, President Bush has signed into law Weiner's legislation banning aid to Saudi Arabia.

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