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Congressman Joseph Crowley: House Must Withhold Funding from Two-Faced Saudi Arabia Supports Amendment Adding Saudi Arabia to List of Terror Supporting Nations

Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-07) was on the House floor to speak in support of an amendment offered by Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY-09) to prohibit any funds in H.R. 3288, Supplemental Appropriations for FY 2004 from being used for Ex-Im Bank programs or other loans for Saudi Arabia. Congressman Weiner's amendment added Saudi Arabia to a list that included Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Iran and Syria. The amendment failed to pass the House by a vote of 233 to 193.

"This week this Congress sent a strong message to Syria by passing the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, said Congressman Crowley." "We must ensure that the United States does not provide funding to the nations that finance terrorism around the world." I am specifically speaking today about Saudi Arabia. The Saudis claim to be our allies, but at the same time they offer assistance in the war on terrorism they are funding the terrorists who desire to attack us. Saudi blood money does not only threaten the United States but also our good friend and ally Israel.

Saudi Arabia provides money for Palestinian terror organizations that kill innocent Israelis on what feels like a daily basis. I wouldn't be surprised to learn if Saudi money helped to support the terrorists who killed three members of the State Department's diplomatic security officers recently in Gaza. We cannot decide that one country funding terrorism is any different from another. I urge all of my colleagues to pass this amendment and send Saudi Arabia the message that Congress will not stand for their support of hate and terrorism anymore. We must hold the Saudi Royal family accountable for its actions.

In August 2003, the General Counsel of the Treasury Department testified before the Terrorism Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that in many cases, Saudi Arabia is the "epicenter" of terrorist financing. A Council on Foreign Relations report found that, for years, individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia have been "the most important source of funds for Al Qaeda; and for years, Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to the problem." There is also evidence that large sums of money flow from Saudi individuals and organiza-tions to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations.

Congressman Crowley is a member of the House International Relations Committee and sits on the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia where he is proud of his 100% record in support of the State of Israel. He is the second highest ranking member and only Democrat from the tri-state area to serve on the newly established Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights where he has focused his attention on criticism of Saudi Arabia's commitment to fighting terrorism and guaranteeing human rights in the Middle East.

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