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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.

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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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