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Congress & the Middle East:
Senate Resolution Providing U.S.-Israel Homeland Security Grants

(November 20, 2004)


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The Senate unanimously approved the establishment of a program designed to increase homeland security cooperation between the United States and Israel. The program will provide grants to organizations to develop necessary homeland security information, capabilities and technologies Text:

S.2635

An Act

To establish an intergovernmental grant program to identify and develop homeland security information, equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services to further the homeland security of the United States and to address the homeland security needs of Federal, State, and local governments.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
      (1) The development and implementation of technology is a crucial component of combating terrorism and implementing homeland security strategies.
      (2) The Government of Israel and companies in Israel have extensive experience with matters pertaining to homeland security generally, and antiterrorism specifically, including expertise in the fields of border integrity, transportation security , first responder equipment, and civil defense planning.
      (3) The United States and Israel have an extensive history of working cooperatively and successfully to assist with the development of agricultural, defense, telecommunications, and other technologies that are mutually beneficial to each country, as exemplified by the success of the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (referred to in this section as the `BIRD Foundation').
      (4) Initiated in 1977 as a grant program, funded equally by the Governments of the United States and Israel in support of joint ventures between businesses in the United States and in Israel , the BIRD Foundation has invested $180,000,000 in 600 projects over the past 27 years and has realized $7,000,000,000 in sales and the development of a number of important technologies.
      (5) The establishment of a similar binational program, or the expansion of the BIRD Foundation, to support the development of technologies and services applicable to homeland security would be beneficial to the security of the United States and Israel and would strengthen the economic ties between the two countries.

SEC. 2. UNITED STATES-ISRAEL HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a program between the United States and Israel to identify, develop, or modify existing or near term homeland security information, equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services to further the homeland security of the United States and to address the homeland security needs of Federal, State, and local governments.
    (b) HOMELAND SECURITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT- In carrying out the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall--
      (1) conduct a needs assessment of Federal, State, and local governments and first responders to identify--
        (A) the homeland security needs of Federal, State, and local governments and first responders; and
        (B) areas where specific homeland security information, equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services could address those needs;
      (2) survey near term and existing homeland security information, equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services developed within the United States and Israel ; and
      (3) provide grants, directly or through a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, to eligible applicants to develop, manufacture, sell, or otherwise provide homeland security information, equipment, capabilities, technologies, and services to address the needs identified under paragraph (1).
    (c) ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS- An applicant is eligible to receive a grant under this section if the applicant--
      (1) addresses one or more needs of Federal, State, and local governments and first responders, as identified through the assessment conducted under subsection (b)(1) or homeland security needs otherwise identified by the Department of Homeland Security ;
      (2) is a joint venture between--
        (A) a for profit business entity, academic institution, Department of Energy national laboratory, or non-profit entity in the United States and a for profit business entity, academic institution, or non-profit entity in Israel ; or
        (B) the government of the United States and the government of Israel ; and
      (3) meets any other qualifications that the Secretary may reasonably require.
    (d) APPLICATION- Each eligible applicant seeking a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security , or the head of a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization authorized by the Secretary to award such grants, an application that contains--
      (1) the identification of the joint venture applying for the grant and the identity of each entity participating in the joint venture;
      (2) a description of the product or service with applications related to homeland security that the applicant is developing, manufacturing, or selling;
      (3) the development, manufacturing, sales, or other activities related to such product or service that the applicant is seeking to carry out with grant funds;
      (4) a detailed capital budget for such product or service, including the manner in which the grant funds will be allocated and expended; and
      (5) such other information as the Secretary of Homeland Security may reasonably require.
    (e) ADVISORY BOARD-
      (1) ESTABLISHMENT- If the Secretary of Homeland Security makes funds available to a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization to award grants to eligible applicants, the Secretary shall establish an advisory board to monitor how such grants are awarded.
      (2) MEMBERSHIP- The advisory board shall be comprised of--
        (A) an appropriate representative of the Government of the United States, as designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security ; and
        (B) an official designated by the Government of Israel .
    (f) ADDITIONAL CONDITION-
      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Homeland Security may impose a condition that the Government of Israel contribute an amount that the Secretary determines to be appropriate toward a project to be funded by a grant under this section before the disbursement of proceeds of such grant.
      (2) LIMITATION- The Secretary may not prescribe a condition that requires a contribution toward the project from the Government of Israel of an amount in excess of the amount of the grant awarded under this section for such project.
    (g) PRIORITY- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall give priority to those applicants who propose to market the homeland security information, equipment, technologies, or services developed or modified with grant funds to Federal, State, and local governments and first responders.
    (h) MATCHING REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of Homeland Security may require a recipient of a grant under this section to make available non-Federal matching contributions in an amount equal to up to 50 percent of the total proposed cost of the project for which the grant was awarded.
    (i) GRANT REPAYMENT- The Secretary of Homeland Security may, as appropriate, require a recipient of a grant under this section to repay to the Secretary, or the nonprofit, nongovernmental entity designated by the Secretary, the amount of the grant, interest at an appropriate rate, and such charges for administration of the grant as the Secretary determines appropriate. The Secretary may not require that such repayment be more than 150 percent of the amount of the grant, adjusted for inflation on the basis of the Consumer Price Index.
    (j) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Homeland Security to carry out the grant program established under this section--
      (1) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2005; and
      (2) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2006.

Passed the Senate November 21 (legislative day, November 20), 2004.


Sources: Library of Congress

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