Two U.S. senators have introduced legislation intended to strengthen the security cooperation between Israel and the U.S.
U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, which if passed, will authorize an increase of the U.S. weapons stockpiled in Israel to a value of $1.8 billion. Additionally the bill will ask the U.S. government to raise Israel’s status in the Strategic Trade Authorization program so that the country can receive some U.S. technology and product exports license-free.
“I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan bill, which once again demonstrates Congress’ commitment to Israel’s security and deepens our country’s defense relationship with our ally Israel during this extremely critical moment in the Middle East region,” Blunt said.
If passed, the bill will also require President Barack Obama to consider and submit to Congress an option to create a joint United States-Israel Cyber Security Center. The President will also be able to assist Israel more with other matters such as energy and water. Finally the bill will make it possible for Israelis to travel to the U.S. without a visa.
“This bipartisan legislation reaffirms the strong, historic relationship between the United States and Israel. The bill will enhance cooperation on a range of issues – from defense to energy to cyber security – so we can work together to address the many foreign policy challenges facing both countries,” Boxer added.