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Majority on Hill urges an end to AWACS deal

A majority of Congress has confronted President Reagan with the threat of his first foreign policy defeat by opposing a controversial air defense sale to Saudi Arabia.

The administration Tuesday repeated its intention to sell the Saudis sophisticated airborne warning and control system planes and equipment to increase the range and firepower of Saudi F-15 fighters, despite congressional opposition.

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But leaders in both the Senate and House said the move is politically unwise and released lists showing that bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress oppose the deal.

Fifty-four senators, including 20 Republicans, signed a letter to the President urging he cancel the sale. In addition, 224 representatives -- 54 Republicans -- cosponsored a House resolution op posing the sale.

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