Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered an amendment on Friday to ban all foreign aid to Saudi Arabia because of their “propensity for exporting terrorists.”
“Why we would be giving any aid to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at all is a bit of an eternal mystery to me given their propensity for exporting terrorists and given that they exported 15 of the 19 homicide bombers on Sept. 11,” he said.
Weiner also quoted a Wikileaks cable in his floor speech that suggested Saudi Arabia has been uncooperative with some U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
Foreign aid to Saudi Arabia is already banned by law but the executive branch is allowed to make exceptions.
Weiner complained that the Department of State had exercised that waiver.
“It [aid] keeps rising back up like a Shakespearean specter,” said Weiner. “My amendment strikes the presidential waiver and says no more aid to Saudi Arabia.”
But Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) argued that Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the U.S. and that they had helped stop a package bomb sent to the U.S. last year.
“We share mutual enemies and mutual threats,” said Granger.