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Congress, hunting hard for budget cuts, may be close to scaling back aid to two close US friends, Israel and Egypt. Israel has been receiving some $785 million each year in nonmilitary assistance, far more per capita than many poorer nations. Egypt receives $750 million.

But if the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia passes, many GOP senators will have already antagonized their Jewish voters, a Senate staff official postulates. This would increase the chance they would support a budget resolution next month revoking the two nations usual exemptions from any cut in foreign aid.

Israel, the Senate source says, may try to get the entire sum before one of the many such resolutions now stuffed in the back pockets of Senate staffers has a chance to pass. But winning quick payment, an Israeli Embassy official concedes, will be difficult.m

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