WASHINGTON (Jul. 13)
Rep. Lawrence Smith (D-Fla.) introduced a resolution Tuesday in the House of Representatives to block the proposed $1.9 billion arms sale to Kuwait. The bill has 113 co-sponsors.
Smith and other members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee were to meet for breakfast Thursday with Kuwaiti Prime Minister and Crown Prince Sheik Saad abdulla as-Sailim as-Sabah.
Saad met Tuesday with President Reagan, who pledged that he would fight for the package, which includes 40 F/A-18 fighter planes, 300 Maverick “G” missiles, 200 Sparrow missiles, 120 Sidewinder missiles, 40 Harpoon missiles, 400 laser-guided bombs and 200 cluster bombs.
The sale will go through unless both houses of Congress vote to block it by the end of August. The Senate has not yet introduced a resolution against the sale, but it voted last week to ban the sale of Maverick “G” or “D” missiles to Kuwait through Sept. 30, 1989.
At a news conference Wednesday. Smith particularly criticized Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for “playing one dominant power off of another.” He cited the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency’s 1987 report that shows that from 1982 to 1986, Kuwait purchased $230 million in U.S. arms while purchasing $220 million from the Soviet Union and $420 million from France.
Over the same period, Saudi Arabia bought $6.1 billion from the United States, $6.8 billion from France and $1.2 billion from Great Britain, Smith quoted the report as saying.