House bill would codify U.S.-Israel MOU into law

Bipartisan bill would codify into law a 2016 memorandum of understanding guaranteeing Israel $38 billion in defense assistance.

Elad Benari, Canada,

United States Capitol
United States Capitol
iStock

A bipartisan bill introduced on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives would codify into law the memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 by Israel and the United States guaranteeing Israel $38 billion in defense assistance over 10 years, JTA reports.

The bill was authored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the chairwoman of the Middle East subcommittee, and Ted Deutch (D-FL), its ranking Democrat. Their senior positions in their respective House caucuses means the bill has a high chance of passage.

In September of 2016, the United States and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2016 which grants Israel $3.8 billion annually beginning in 2018 and through 2028.

After the memorandum of understanding was signed, Republican senators said they would seek to overturn part of it so that Israel can receive even more aid.

Earlier this week, Senators Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican foreign policy voice, and Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they considered the provision of $38 billion over 10 years “a floor” and called for an increase in aid.

The legislation introduced on Friday comes ahead of AIPAC’s annual conference which begins Sunday.

In June of 2017, the House Appropriations Committee and the House and Senate Armed Services Committees advanced U.S.-Israel missile defense assistance and cooperation in the 2018 defense appropriations and authorizations bills.

These committees provided a total of $705 million for research and development and procurement funding for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense systems.

The funding represents a $558 million increase from President Donald Trump's budget request for these programs, and $105 million over last year’s adopted funding level.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)








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