Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Legislation to Strengthen U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership and Express Support for People of Ukraine

Jan 29, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed legislation to strengthen the strategic partnership between U.S. and Israel and express support for the people of Ukraine. 

The Committee passed, as amended, H.R. 938, (Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)), the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to enhancing security cooperation with Israel.  H.R. 938:  

  • makes additions to Israel-based defense stockpiles;
  • authorizes cooperative activities in a range of fields, including energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and civil space;
  • provides for a framework to expedite licenses for Israel to acquire U.S. goods and services critical to its defense; 
  • requires more timely assessments regarding Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Chairman Royce said:  “Today, as Israel faces threats in every direction, this legislation is an important measure of U.S. support. This is a strong, bipartisan bill, and I am pleased by its Committee passage.” 

The Committee also passed, as amended, H. Res. 447 (Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)), which calls on all sides in the ongoing confrontation in Ukraine to refrain from violence and to work toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis.  H. Res. 447:

  • urges the Ukrainian government, opposition parties, and all protesters to exercise restraint and avoid confrontation;
  • calls on the Ukrainian government to bring to justice those responsible for the violence and brutality against the protestors;
  • welcomes the repeal by the Ukrainian parliament of most of the anti-democratic measures adopted on January 16;
  • encourages the Administration to consider targeted sanctions against those authorizing or engaging in the use of force;
  • urges all parties to engage in constructive dialogue to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.  

Chairman Royce said:  “Ukraine is a country of strategic significance for the U.S.  Its stability and continued democratic development are important for our national interests. The Ukrainian people’s determination to ensure basic human rights and freedom for themselves and their country has been inspiring.  That determination is being demonstrated by the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who have peacefully taken to the streets in defense of those rights.  This protest movement has since become a struggle between those who want a democratic future based on the rule of law for Ukraine and those who are prepared to use violence to turn the clock back.  This resolution comes at a decisive moment in that struggle.”

 A summary of the Committee action, including adopted amendments, is available HERE

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