House Passes Deutch, Ros-Lehtinen Bill to Expand US-Israel Cooperation
This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018," legislation introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), the Ranking Member and Chairman respectively of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
This bill codifies the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel that resulted in an unprecedented $38 billion in security assistance over ten years. The bill also ensures Israel has access to the weapons needed to defend itself against any and all threats, enhances Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge to better address evolving threats, and authorizes new cooperation on drones, space, and global humanitarian projects.
"My friend Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been a stalwart friend of Israel throughout her time in Congress, and it is a fitting honor that this bill to strengthen the US-Israel relationship bears her name," Congressman Deutch said. "Israel is under constant threat from every direction. A threat to Israel, our strategic ally in a turbulent region, is also a threat to our national security. Enhancing Israel’s security is a step toward strengthening our own national security. This bill will significantly enhance Israel's Qualitative Military Edge over its enemies and improve bilateral cooperation on cybersecurity and space issues. Passage of the bill sends a powerful message of bipartisan American support for Israel and our continued investment in its security."
The Senate companion passed on August 1.