Ros-Lehtinen, Deutch Introduce Bill Authorizing Enhanced Security Assistance to Israel, Strengthening Strategic Partnership

Mar 1, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen, Deutch Introduce Bill Authorizing Enhanced Security Assistance to Israel, Strengthening Strategic Partnership

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, introduced H.R. 5141, the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018. This bill affirms the bipartisan support for the unshakeable U.S. - Israel relationship and for Israel’s right to defend herself. H.R. 5141 authorizes foreign military financing for Israel at the levels agreed upon between the United States and Israel in the historic Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in September 2016. The bill also supports Israel’s ability to meet and address both conventional and emerging threats, and enhances U.S.-Israel cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as cyber security.

Statement by the Representatives:

“As recent events have shown, new threats to Israel are constantly evolving. Israel has no choice but to adapt to these changes, and to do so, it is going to need continued and expanded assistance from and cooperation with the United States. Our two nations share a long, close and strategic relationship based on mutual interests and mutual ideals. Our bill recognizes the need for increased assistance to Israel to defend herself, protect Israeli citizens from current threats, and address new and emerging threats to Israel and our mutual interests. With this bill, Congress has a unique opportunity to advance our own national security interests, help defend and increase cooperation with one of our closest allies, and get back in the business of authorizing foreign assistance. We look forward to working with our colleagues to pass the United States-Israel Security Assistance Act with overwhelming bipartisan support.”

NOTE: In addition to authorizing security assistance for Israel, H.R. 5141 extends the Loan Guarantee authority for Israel as well as the War Reserves Stockpile Authority for Israel for the corresponding 5-year period, FY2019-23. The bill also reiterates that it is U.S. policy to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME); authorizes the transfer of precision guided munitions and related defense articles and services to the reserve stocks in Israel for self-defense purposes; and seeks to enhance cooperation and coordination between the two countries in a variety of sectors, including through the use of memoranda of understanding between USAID and the Government of Israel.

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