S. 2165: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

S. 2165

United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

Sponsor
Sen. Barbara Boxer

Date
July 17, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval.  The bill was introduced on March 6, 2012, by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and was reported as amended on June 27, 2012.  The bill passed the Senate on June 29, 2012 by voice vote and it was received in the House on July 9, 2012 and held at the desk.

Bill Summary

S. 2165 would reaffirm that it is the policy of the United States to: continue to support the security of Israel; to help Israel maintain its military superiority in the region; and to help secure a negotiated settlement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The bill would express the sense of Congress that the United States should continue to provide necessary military and financial support to Israel in order to assist in Israel’s defense. 

The bill would amend the Depart of Defense Appropriations Act of 2005 and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to allow the Department of Defense to transfer obsolete or surplus military items to Israel and to provide extended authority to make additions to foreign-based arms stockpiles through 2014.  The bill would also amend the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005, to extend the authority to grant loan guarantees to Israel until September 30, 2016.  This authority would otherwise expire on September 30, 2012.

Lastly, the bill would require the President to submit a report of Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge to Congress not later than 180 days after enactment.  Also within 180 days, the President would be required to submit reports on: actions that could improve the process related to Israel’s purchase of F-35 aircraft; efforts to expand cooperation between the United States and Israel in a number of security related areas; and on actions to integrate Israel into the defense of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Background

Under the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2005, the Department of Defense is allowed to transfer obsolete or surplus military items to Israel assuming the items meet certain requirements.  Under current law, this authority is set to expire in 2012.

According to Senate Report 112-179, current law already requires the President to submit a quadrennial report on the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel.  The first of these reports was submitted on October 6, 2009 and the next one is required by October 6, 2013.  Given security developments in the region, Congress would like to see an update to this report as soon as possible.  Thus, S. 2165 requires a report within 180 days, but allows this report to satisfy the quadrennial requirement in current law.

The House considered a similar bill, H.R. 4133, on May 9, 2012, and approved the bill by a vote of 411-2.

Cost

There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available at this time.