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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Reaffirming & Enhancing US-Israel Security Cooperation

(May 10, 2012)

On May 9, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Resolution (H.R.) 4133 reaffirming United States policy commitments to Israel and calling for enhanced security cooperation between the two allies.

Sponsored by House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the "US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012" was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 294 representatives and passed by a vote of 411 to 2.  The only dissenting votes were cast by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) while another nine House members voted "present."

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.

“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,” Rep. 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.”

“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,” Rep. Hoyer said.

Yea: 411 (236 Republican, 175 Democrat); Nay: 2 (1 Republican, 1 Democrat);
Present: 9 (1 Republican, 8 Democrats); Not Voting: 9 (3 Republican, 6 Democrat)
Sponsor: Eric Cantor (R-VA); Cosponsors: 304 (170 Republican; 134 Democrat)

Read H.R. 4133 - CLICK HERE

Sources: JTA (May 9, 2012); Library of Congress; GovTrack