Roll Call: House Refuses to Block Saudi Ex-Im Deals

On October 17, by a vote of 193 to 233, the House rejected an amendment to the Iraq supplemental spending bill (H.R. 3289) that would have forbidden funds from the Export-Import Bank from financing assistance or reparations to Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia. The Export-Import Bank is a federal agency that guarantees loans for foreign buyers of certain American goods, to help increase American exports. The agency has come under sharp criticism for its role in helping companies such as Boeing to export American jobs, and for its under-publicized role in helping Enron cover up shady accounting practices through “foreign” deals with its own subsidiaries operating overseas. (see HUMAN EVENTS cover story, May 13, 2002.) Conservatives and far-left liberals alike have opposed the bank’s operations in principle. The sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D.-N.Y.), said that it “mirrors language that was inserted in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill this year. It essentially says that no funds allocated in this bill should go to the countries Libya, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The only change. . . is that we add Saudi Arabia to that list.” That change, of course, was considered controversial, since every presidential administration, including the Bush Administration, has tried to placate the Saudi monarchs and perpetuate the notion that they are U.S. allies. The Saudis actively helped President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War by increasing oil production in order to drive down the prices at which the Soviets could sell their oil. However, they have received much criticism lately for their apparently ambivalent stance in the war on terrorism, and their funding of terrorism against the state of Israel. “There is no direct funding allocated to Saudi Arabia, just many, many pots of money that could conceivably fund that kingdom,” Weiner explained, referring to the loans and loan guarantees the Export-Import bank could make to the Saudi government or Saudi businesses. “We have a Saudi Arabian government that supports terrorism, supports it overseas, funds homicide bombers in Israel. . . We have a Saudi Arabian government that was directly connected to September 11. Simply put, there is no reason there should be a single dime of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to that kingdom.” Rep. Duke Cunningham (R.-Calif.) argued in opposition to the amendment. “There are 15,000 members in the [Saudi] royal family…Some of those are helping some of our enemies, possibly so; but there are no direct links that have been caught yet. And I believe that there are more people in Saudi Arabia who want to be the friend of the United States than those who oppose us. . ..” Rep. Jerry Lewis (R.-Calif.) likewise cautioned that the amendment could harm American diplomacy in the region. “[T]his supplemental [spending bill] is hardly a time and place for us to readjust very sensitive, very important foreign affairs questions.” However, because the executive branch sets foreign policy, Congress’ only opportunity to get involved is through such spending bills. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress nearly complete power over spending—the so-called “power of the purse.” A “yes” vote was a vote for the Weiner amendment to block Export-Import funding for identified state sponsors of terror and Saudi Arabia. A “no” vote was a vote against the amendment.

REPUBLICANS FOR: 32 Barrett (SC) Brown-Waite, V. Burton (IN) Cantor Chabot Coble Emerson Ferguson Foley Franks (AZ) Garrett (NJ) Goode Graves Hayworth Johnson (IL) Kingston McCotter Miller (FL) Moran (KS) Ose Paul Porter Ramstad Renzi Rohrabacher Royce Shays Simmons Stearns Toomey Wamp Weldon (FL) DEMOCRATS FOR: 160 Andrews Baca Baird Ballance Becerra Bell Berkley Berman Berry Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Boswell Boucher Brady (PA) Brown, Corrine Brown (OH) Capuano Cardin Cardoza Carson (OK) Case Clyburn Conyers Cooper Costello Cramer Crowley Cummings Davis (AL) Davis (CA) Davis (IL) Davis (TN) DeFazio DeGette Delahunt DeLauro Deutsch Dicks Doggett Doyle Edwards Emanuel Engel Eshoo Etheridge Evans Farr Fattah Filner Ford Frank (MA) Frost Gonzalez Gordon Green (TX) Grijalva Gutierrez Hall Harman Hastings (FL) Hill Hinchey Hinojosa Hoeffel Holden Holt Honda Hooley (OR) Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson-Lee (TX) Jefferson Johnson, E. B. Kennedy (RI) Kildee Kind Kucinich Lampson Langevin Lantos Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski Lofgren Lowey Lucas (KY) Lynch Majette Maloney Markey Matheson Matsui McCarthy (MO) McCarthy (NY) McCollum McIntyre McNulty Meehan Meek (FL) Meeks (NY) Menendez Millender-McDonald Miller, George Moore Murtha Nadler Napolitano Neal (MA) Oberstar Olver Ortiz Owens Pallone Pascrell Pastor Payne Pelosi Pomeroy Price (NC) Rangel Reyes Rodriguez Ross Rothman Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sandlin Schakowsky Schiff Scott (VA) Sherman Solis Stenholm Strickland Stupak Tauscher Taylor (MS) Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Towns Udall (CO) Udall (NM) Van Hollen Waters Watson Waxman Weiner Wexler Woolsey Wu Wynn INDEPENDENTS FOR: 1 Sanders REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 194 Aderholt Akin Bachus Baker Ballenger Bartlett (MD) Barton (TX) Bass Beauprez Bereuter Biggert Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Blackburn Blunt Boehlert Boehner Bonilla Bonner Bono Boozman Bradley (NH) Brady (TX) Brown (SC) Burgess Burns Burr Buyer Calvert Camp Cannon Capito Carter Castle Chocola Cole Collins Cox Crane Crenshaw Cubin Culberson Cunningham Davis, Jo Ann Davis, Tom Deal (GA) DeLay DeMint Diaz-Balart, L. Diaz-Balart, M. Doolittle Dreier Duncan Dunn Ehlers English Everett Feeney Flake Fletcher Forbes Fossella Frelinghuysen Gallegly Gerlach Gibbons Gilchrest Gillmor Gingrey Goodlatte Goss Granger Green (WI) Greenwood Gutknecht Harris Hart Hastert Hastings (WA) Hayes Hefley Hensarling Herger Hobson Hoekstra Hostettler Houghton Hulshof Hunter Hyde Isakson Issa Istook Janklow Jenkins Johnson, Sam Johnson (CT) Jones (NC) Keller Kelly Kennedy (MN) King (IA) King (NY) Kirk Kline Knollenberg Kolbe LaHood Latham LaTourette Leach Lewis (CA) Lewis (KY) Linder LoBiondo Lucas (OK) Manzullo McCrery McHugh McInnis Mica Miller, Gary Miller (MI) Murphy Musgrave Myrick Nethercutt Neugebauer Ney Northup Norwood Nunes Nussle Osborne Otter Oxley Pearce Pence Peterson (PA) Petri Pickering Pitts Platts Pombo Portman Pryce (OH) Quinn Radanovich Regula Rehberg Reynolds Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Ros-Lehtinen Ryan (WI) Ryun (KS) Saxton Schrock Sensenbrenner Sessions Shadegg Shaw Sherwood Shimkus Shuster Simpson Smith (MI) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Sullivan Sweeney Tancredo Tauzin Taylor (NC) Terry Thomas Thornberry Tiahrt Tiberi Turner (OH) Upton Vitter Walden (OR) Walsh Weldon (PA) Weller Whitfield Wicker Wilson (NM) Wilson (SC) Wolf Young (AK) Young (FL) DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 39 Abercrombie Ackerman Alexander Allen Baldwin Boyd Carson (IN) Davis (FL) Dingell Dooley (CA) John Kanjorski Kaptur Kilpatrick Kleczka Lee McDermott McGovern Michaud Miller (NC) Mollohan Moran (VA) Obey Peterson (MN) Rahall Rush Sabo Scott (GA) Serrano Skelton Slaughter Smith (WA) Snyder Stark Tanner Turner (TX) Velazquez Visclosky Watt


McKeon Putnam Souder Capps Clay Gephardt Jones (OH) Marshall Spratt