Congress Passes Historic Bill Dramatically Strengthening U.S.-Israel Relationship

THE AMERICAN ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
AIPAC Press Release
Congress Passes Historic Bill Dramatically Strengthening
U.S.-Israel Relationship

December 4, 2014

AIPAC applauds Congress for final passage of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act (S.2673).  This historic measure will dramatically strengthen and expand the U.S.-Israel alliance as a way to confront new threats and challenges in the Middle East. 


Congress yesterday completed adoption of the landmark legislation when the House approved the final version of the bill.  AIPAC praises the effective, bipartisan leadership of Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA) , Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

By declaring in legislation that Israel is a “major strategic partner” of the United States, the bill lays the foundation for significantly expanded U.S.-Israel cooperation in a wide variety of spheres, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, cyber security, energy, water, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies.

Included in the legislation are the following major provisions:
  • Declares that Israel is a “major strategic partner” of the United States.
  • Expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing additional critical military equipment for either nation to use in a crisis.
  • Upgrades Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing.
  • Encourages the inclusion of Israel in the Visa Waiver Program, which will help facilitate travel to the United States by Israeli citizens without needing a visa. 
  • Authorizes the president to provide assistance to promote cooperation in such fields as energy, water, homeland security, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies.
  • Creates new mechanisms to connect America and Israel in enhanced energy cooperation, including the establishment of a U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in energy and water engineering, and supports the development of R&D and academic partnership opportunities. 
  • Increases the frequency and detail of U.S. government reporting on Israel’s qualitative military edge.