Washington (Oct. 7)
The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 28-8 today to adopt a resolution disapproving the Reagan Administration’s proposed sale of AWACS reconnaissance planes and other advanced military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The resolution will go to the full House for a vote, probably next week.
Rep. Clement Zablocki of Wisconsin, the committee chairman, was one of three Democrats who voted against the resolution. The others were Reps. L.H. Fountain of North Carolina and David Bowen of Mississippi. The five Republicans who voted against the resolution were Reps. Paul Findley and Henry Hyde, both of Illinois, Joel Pritchard of Washington; Toby Roth of Wisconsin; and Robert Lagomarsino of California.
Prior to the voting, Findley and Lagomarsino urged postponement of the vote for several days so that the committee could assess events in the Middle East following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt yesterday. A counter-proposal by Reps. Dante Fascell (D. Fla.) and Benjamin Gilman (R.NY) urged the Administration to withdraw its official letter of notification of the AWACS sale until it can assess the implications of Sadat’s death. Fascell suggested a 60-day moratorium.
Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which was due to vote on a similar resolution today, postponed action after meeting with President Reagan at the White House yesterday shortly after Sadat’s death was confirmed. Reagan, who has been lobbying members of Congress to support the AWACS sale, met with all Republican Senators this morning.