WASHINGTON — A key Senate panel rejected pleas from the White House, the defense secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff today and kept intact a proposed ban on the sale of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Bahrain.
The blow to the Administration by the Senate Appropriations Committee came amid consideration of a $13.1-billion foreign aid bill, which the panel approved on a voice vote.
The committee voted 16 to 10 against the proposal by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) to exempt Bahrain from a ban on sales of the missiles for a year to Persian Gulf nations.
Five Republicans voted against exempting Bahrain from the ban.
The Administration wants to sell 60 of the shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles for $7 million to the oil nation.
Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, Adm. William Crowe, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and two senior Carlucci aides made a private 40-minute pitch for the Bahrain Stinger sale to the committee before the vote.
Wednesday, the White House urged that the sale go through.