House Passes Gottheimer Bipartisan Language Blocking Those Seeking to Put New Conditions on Security Aid to Israel

Dec 06, 2019
Press

Protects America’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, consistent with Obama-era MOU Key to U.S. Fight Against Terror

Today, Friday, December 6, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan language introduced by U.S. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Tom Reed (NY-23) and Ted Deutch (FL-22), and cosponsored by more than 30 Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, to reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to providing security assistance to our historic ally Israel, without new conditions or exceptions. This language is absolutely necessary because of the extreme and misguided views of some, especially several currently running for our Nation’s highest office, who seemingly believe that assistance to Israel should be held hostage until Israel makes concessions according to their beliefs, including how Israel treats Gaza, which is controlled by the foreign terrorist organization Hamas.

H.Res.326, as amended by the Gottheimer-Reed-Deutch amendments, passed the House today with bipartisan support.

Israel’s security is essential to America’s national security in a volatile region, and essential in the fight against terror. The amendments reinforce the bipartisan ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) funding agreement reached during the Obama administration.

Gottheimer spoke on the House floor this week in support of his bipartisan amendments.

“This vote officially puts to rest the splinter view of adding new conditions on aid to Israel and reinforces our historic commitment to preserving a two-state solution.,”said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “We know that this aid helps save countless lives, and we know the United States is better off when Israel is fully equipped to defend itself.”

Gottheimer continued, “This language is absolutely necessary because of the extreme, and misguided views of some, especially several currently running for our nation’s highest office, who seemingly believe that assistance to Israel should be held hostage until Israel makes concessions according to their beliefs — including how Israel treats Gaza, which is controlled by the foreign terrorist organization, Hamas. We must stand together in rejecting that harmful view.”

In a strong showing of bipartisan support, Gottheimer’s amendments were cosponsored by:

Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23)

Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (FL-22)

Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick (PA-1)

Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6)

Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12)

Rep. David B. McKinley (WV-1)

Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-3)

Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51)

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-3)

Rep. Max Rose (NY-11)

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)

Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-2)

Rep. Stephanie N. Murphy (FL-7)

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8)

Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21)

Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-4)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

Rep. Elaine G. Luria (VA-2)

Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider (IL-10)

Rep. John Katko (NY-24)

Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2)

Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16)

Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI-10)

Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13)

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)

Rep. Kendra S. Horn (OK-5)

Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger (VA-7)

Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-2)

Rep. Scott R. Tipton (CO-3)

Rep. David Scott (GA-13)

Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1)

Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-3)

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)

Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-1)

Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30)

Watch Gottheimer’s remarks on the House floor HERE.

Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you, Mr. Raskin for yielding me time.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the rule, which will adopt bipartisan language I introduced with my good friends Congressman Tom Reed and Congressman Ted Deutch, reaffirming the United States’ ironclad commitment to providing security assistance to our historic ally, Israel – which, as ever, is key to America’s national security in the region, especially in our fight against terror.

This vote officially puts to rest the splinter view of adding new conditions on aid to Israel and reinforces our historic commitment to preserving a two-state solution. I want to thank my good friend, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, for his leadership on this issue, and for including our language in his manager’s amendment.

Madam Speaker, as we have seen in recent weeks, Israel, the democracy in the region, faces threats like no other country, of missile and rocket attacks from terrorist organizations including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as the ongoing threat of Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

Vital security assistance to Israel – including missile defense funding for Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 – helps our ally to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge in the region. That is why, in 2016, under the Obama administration, the U.S. and Israel signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, which constituted the single largest pledge of security assistance to Israel in America’s history. The MOU also increased the amount of defense dollars that go to U.S. businesses here at home, with as much as $1.2 billion a year invested in the United States.

We know that this aid helps save countless lives, and we know the United States is better off when Israel is fully equipped to defend itself. That is why I led a bipartisan amendment with my colleagues, Congressman Reed and Congressman Deutch, which reaffirms our commitment to providing this assistance, without additional conditions or exceptions.

Our amendment was cosponsored by a total of 36 Members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, who know that this assistance should not be subject to politics. I deeply appreciate all of our colleagues’ support for our amendment, for this vital, lifesaving assistance, and for the bipartisan U.S.-Israel relationship.

This language is absolutely necessary because of the extreme, and misguided views of some, especially several currently running for our nation’s highest office, who seemingly believe that assistance to Israel should be held hostage until Israel makes concessions according to their beliefs — including how Israel treats Gaza, which is controlled by the foreign terrorist organization, Hamas.

We must stand together in rejecting that harmful view. As one Senator called it, “ That view of having leverage against Israel.” When our ally Israel faces more than 450 rockets fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza, it must have the ability to defend itself – no matter what.

That is why, with this vote, we commit ourselves to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, ensuring we fulfill our guarantee to provide vital security assistance to the key democracy in the region. Thank you so much and I yield back. 

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