House Committee Approves $85m for Soviet Jews

The House Foreign Affairs Committee today reported out the authorization funding the State Department for the next fiscal year including $85 million that the Department will use to help resettle Jews in Israel. A vote by the House on the bill is expected by May 15. The bill as reported out is identical with the one introduced by Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D.N.Y.) with the co-sponsorship of Rep. Seymour Halpern (R.N.Y.).

It does not contain the amendment tacked on in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the measure calling for the same amount of money. The amendments would extend use of the funds to countries besides Israel which may receive Soviet Jewish refugees and also limit the expenditure of the funds to the proportion of Jews leaving the Soviet Union against an expected figure of forty thousand this year.

Bingham said the committee’s bill was a “fitting follow-up” to efforts made by supporters of the Soviet Jews both in the Congress and elsewhere. He also said that the funds will “offset only a small part of the heavy financial and social burden of resettlement” which he said he found during his recent first-hand study of Jewish migration to Israel. He added that the Israel government and people are both receiving the immigrants “with great dedication and warmth.”

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