U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today threw her support behind legislation to enhance the already strong U.S. commitment to ensuring Israel's ability to defend itself.
The United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S.2497) would authorize U.S. foreign military assistance to Israel over 10 years pursuant to a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries.
"Strengthening our critical strategic alliance with Israel is in U.S. security interests and the absolute right thing to do for our closest friend in a very dangerous part of the world. I'm pleased to support legislation to guarantee Israel has the resources to protect itself from existing and evolving threats from Iran, Hezbollah, and other bad actors," Hyde-Smith said.
In addition to authorizing security assistance for Israel, S.2497 would extend loan guarantee authority and War Reserve Stockpile Authority for five years.
The bill reaffirms U.S. policy to ensure Israel's Qualitative Military Edge (QME) or ability to defeat all conventional military threats. This support includes the transfer of precision guided munitions to Israel for self-defense purposes. The measure would also increase U.S.-Israel cooperation and coordination in a variety of sectors, including the use of memoranda of understanding between USAID and the Government of Israel.
Introduced in May by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), S.2497 has been referred to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. It is also cosponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).