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House Overwhelmingly Passes Enhanced Israel Cooperation Bill, Ron Paul Votes Against

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U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft prepares to refuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. The new House legislation provides Israel with "air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions."

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft prepares to refuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. The new House legislation provides Israel with "air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions."
Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Abigail Klein / U.S. Air Force

The U.S House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that reaffirms and enhances U.S. policy commitments to Israel’s security.

The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which was sponsored by House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), passed by a vote of 411-2. The legislation garnered bipartisan support from 294 co-sponsors prior to passage.

The two members that voted against the legislation were Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and John Dingell (D-Mich.). Also, nine members of the House voted “present” on the legislation.

In addition to expanding military cooperation between the two countries, the legislation states that it will be U.S. policy to provide Israel with essential military capabilities to preserve its qualitative military edge in the region.

Some provisions appear aimed at assisting Israel particularly in any possible confrontation with Iran. The legislation recommends that the United States provide Israel with “air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions.” Israel has sought an air-refueling capacity as a means to cover the distance to Iran in the case of a strike. “Specialized munitions” could include bunker busting bombs that could reach redoubts where Iran is suspected of building a nuclear weapon capability.

During floor debate, Cantor and Hoyer spoke out about the importance of this legislation to boost the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship.

“This bill re-affirms Israel’s right to defend itself against threats and puts Congress on the record about America’s long-standing commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship, a unique and special relationship founded on shared interests and shared democratic values,” Cantor said during his floor remarks. “This bill recognizes the profound threats the US and Israel face in the region and reiterates our commitment to standing side by side with Israel during this pivotal and dangerous period of transition and instability.”

Hoyer stated that the legislation was vital to increasing cooperation between the two countries so they “can further deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability and work together to combat terrorism that threatens both of our countries.”

“There needs to be a clear understanding by all those who would threaten Israel that the United States stands with her, because it is in our – the United States’s – security interest to do so, and because it is morally and ethically the right thing to do as well,” Hoyer said.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which lobbied for this legislation during its annual policy conference in March, released a statement applauding the bipartisan support for the legislation.

“This vote is a testament to the broad, bipartisan support of the American people for bolstering the ties between the U.S. and our ally Israel,” the AIPAC statement said. “The United States benefits greatly through enhanced cooperation with Israel, and this bipartisan bill recommends new avenues for the U.S.-Israel relationship to grow and strengthen in the fields of missile defense, homeland security, energy, intelligence, and cyber security.”

The U.S. Senate is considering similar legislation that is sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). The legislation has 32 co-sponsors, but no indication has been given as to when it will be taken up by the Senate.

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19 Responses to “House Overwhelmingly Passes Enhanced Israel Cooperation Bill, Ron Paul Votes Against”

  1. David Baur says:

    I thought Israel didn't need the U.S. Help…or was israel lying?

  2. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    The article states "enhanced cooperation", yet you read "help". Your bias is showing. Israel is receiving money to develop defensive weapons, and in exchange shares all research and developments with the US Army. There is no giveaway to Israel. If you wish to cut off giveaway US money, then you're going to have to aim at the money given to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority. They receive billions without giving any counterpart whatsoever.

  3. Actually, that was your VP Biden who said that.

  4. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Marc, Biden was born with foot in the mouth disease. That's why, on his own, he never reached the White House

  5. Mo Dennis says:

    Dr. Paul wants to stop aid to ALL countries, we need the money here at home.

  6. Yori Yanover says:

    Trust me, the money will stay at home. It will go to pay American workers making American weapons to be shipped to Israel. It's the same with the $3 billion foreign aid to Israel (which began as 1977 $3 billion and has been diminished to 2012 $3 billion). It mostly pays American workers.

    Ron Paul's vision for America is highly 1776, with gentlemen land owners doing the self sufficiency thing in a country of 2 million people. Alas, that country is only in his head.

  7. Jacob Long says:

    Yori Yanover If you understand simple economics, then you know that statement is simply not true. It would be just as good for the US to pay workers to dig holes and fill them back up again. The work done simply does not increase the aggregate wealth of the country.

    I am not someone who is anti-Israel; however, aid should not come from the theft of our government but from Americans themselves if they so choose to do so.

    I support Paul because he believes in the rule of law as opposed everyone else who dismisses the tenets of our Constitution.

  8. David Baur says:

    Muriel Coudurier-Curveur Sorry, didn't know enhanced cooperation was not help. I am fine with them giving money out as long as they are getting its worth back. Giving it away though is just dumb.

  9. David Baur says:

    Yori Yanover That is not Ron Pauls vision silly. But it is funny that you think up something that warped.

  10. Yori Yanover says:

    Jacob Long — The work done may not increase the wealth, but it redistributes it, which is how US governments have performed since the time someone was hired to feed the mules of the Union army. Government retrieves some of the people's money and spends it in ways it deems necessary. Most of us seem to like it just fine.

  11. Hallie Lewis Roberts says:

    We can't afford it! We are drowning in debt. Our national debt is approaching $16,000,000,000,000!

  12. Hallie Lewis Roberts says:

    Muriel Coudurier-Curveur, we shouldn't be giving money to these countries, either! We have no money! We are living on money we owe to other countries!

  13. Hallie Lewis Roberts says:

    We need the money to pay off our debt before we drown in it!

  14. Hallie Lewis Roberts says:

    We need the money to pay off our debt before we drown in it!

  15. Actually, do your research. The aid that the US sends Israel is spent on US manufactured miltech.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

  16. Afghanistan gets more than Israel. Start with them.

  17. Rowland M. Andrade says:

    I posted that link as well yesterday. I had to find out about that in the JewishPost. Not my local media. Unfortunately our Congress is for sale to the highest bidder and so far it is the Israeli Washington Lobbyists.

  18. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Hallie, that would be the wisest path, but as long as the US pours liberalities on the Arab world -which despise us- why shouldn't we marginally help our only true ally in the word? Rowland M. Andrade, as I previously mentioned, the US received a valuable counterpart for the "gift" and the "Jewish Lobby" is nowhere as powerful, in the White House and Congress, as the Saudi Arab one which obtained free chartered planes flights home for the Bin Laden family, at a time no US citizen could fly, no matter the emergency.

  19. Dylan Flynn says:

    well, if your i.q. was over 80 you'd be able to understand the concept of Fox News

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