WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to authorize at least $3.3 billion in annual security assistance to Israel. 

“The passage of this bipartisan legislation represents the continuation of America’s unshakable, seven-decade commitment to Israel’s security,” said Senator Coons. “The security assistance included in this bill will help Israel protect itself in the midst of regional instability; deter – and if necessary defend against – Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; and deepen bilateral ties for the next decade and beyond.”

“At a time when the Jewish state of Israel faces unpresented threats from Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime, Assad’s barbaric dictatorship in Syria, and terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, this bipartisan legislation advances American efforts to ensure that Israel, a vibrant democracy and our closest ally in the Middle East, has all that it needs to defend itself,” Senator Rubio said. “I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their support of the Rubio-Coons bill, and hope that the House of Representatives soon passes the legislation and sends it to the White House for the President’s signature.” 

The U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act:

  • Authorizes the State Department to extend no less than $3.3 billion annually in foreign military financing (FMF) to Israel over the next 10 years through 2028.  This is consistent with the new U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United States and Israel in 2016;
  • Extends loan guarantees to Israel, making the U.S. Federal Reserve a guarantor of Israeli loans and allowing Israel to secure international loans at substantially lower interest rates;
  • Allows for the quick sale of Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) to Israel in the event of a conflict with Hamas, Hezbollah, or Iran;
  • Reiterates it is U.S. policy to ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) to allow Israel to counter and defeat any conventional or emerging military threat from neighboring states, a coalition of regional states, or a terrorist group;
  • Encourages enhanced U.S.-Israel cooperation in space, on international development issues, and on production of counter-drone technology. 

The legislation’s counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 9.