Report: MOU's restrictions on Israel may be unconstitutional

Bipartisan group of congressmen claims the new Memorandum of Understanding is unconstitutional for preventing Israel from seeking more aid.

Gary Willig,

Congressman Elliot Engel
Congressman Elliot Engel
Flash 90

A bipartisan group of Congressmen believe that the clauses in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached between Israel and the US this year which prevent Israel from asking Congress for more aid may be unconstitutional, according to a report by the Jewish Insider.

The MOU was signed between the governments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the summer.

The Congressmen agreed to hold a panel on the subject in New York City on Tuesday, where both Democrats and Republicans expressed concern over the details of the MOU. The panel took place at a luncheon hosted by Agudath Israel of America at Alliance Bernstein Global Wealth Management in Manhattan.

New York Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said: “The Constitution was delivered and constructed to give the House of Representatives, in particular through the Ways and Means Committee, the power to initiate decisions on taxation and spending. So it is not clear to me how you could prohibit our capacity to weigh in in a way that is locked in by an executive branch agreement that we inhaled.”

“We as members of Congress should have the capacity to respond to an emergency circumstance, domestic or foreign, which we did the last time there was a serious conflict and we needed to provide additional military aid to Israel. I don’t think we should give that authority up.” he added.

Another Democratic Congressman from New York, Elliot Engel, vowed to fight against the clauses of the MOU which prevent Israel from seeking additional funding. Representative Engel is the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The panel also featured Republican Congressmen, such as Paul Gosar of Arizona and Randy Weber of Texas.

Several Republicans have expressed concerns about the constitutionality of the MOU in the past. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the Algemeiner two months ago that he was concerned that the clauses preventing Israel from asking Congress for more aid "destroy the separation of powers” between the executive and legislative branches of government.