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Senate Votes 65-24 to Provide Israel with $385m for Military Purchases

The Senate, by a 65-24 vote this afternoon, passed a military authorization bill providing Israel with an $85 million grant and $300 million in credits for military purchases in this country. The bill and a companion measure for economic assistance passed by a Senate vote of 61-23 yesterday, will go to the House which is expected to act on both measures shortly.

The economic aid bill contains $15 million for schools, hospitals and other institutions abroad, the allotments to be determined by the State Department and the Agency for International Development. The Nixon administration, which had opposed the $85 million grant to Israel, pledged today that the funds would be expended for their intended purpose “as promptly as possible.” The assurance followed a bi-partisan effort by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D., Wash.) and Sen. Robert Dole (R., Kan.), chairman of the Republican National Committee. Jackson wrote to Secretary of State William P. Rogers yesterday about the funds.

The State Department had contended previously that Israel’s economic position indicated that it did not need a grant in aid despite its heavy military burdens. The grant was written specifically into the bill passed today and is apart from a $350 million fund for supporting assistance to countries which lack the economic means to use the military equipment they require. The House previously authorized a $200 million grant to Israel but this was reduced by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to $85 million. The House allocation was lost when the Senate killed the Nixon administration’s $3.2 billion foreign aid bill two weeks ago.

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