WASHINGTON (Jul. 29)
By a narrow vote the House of Representatives approved Thursday a $2.8 billion foreign and authorization measure that will provide $350 million in economic and military assistance to Israel. After a lengthy debate, the House passed the bill for fiscal 1974 by a vote of 166-183.
The bill authorizes the extension of $300 million in credit to Israel for military purchases and $50 million for economic support, the same levels of aid that were extended to Israel last year. The Administration had requested a reduction in economic support to $25 million because of a strengthening Israeli economy.
But the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the full $50 million amount because of the continued burden of military defense and the substantial cost to Israel of servicing its foreign debt. Israel is one of the few countries to have funds specifically earmarked in the authorization bill itself Other Middle East countries which may receive aid from the general funds established include Jordan. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
$65 MILLION TO JORDAN
In its presentation to the Foreign Affairs Committee during hearings on the bill, the Administration said Jordan would receive about $65 million in economic supporting assistance. In the House debate. Rep. Lee Hamilton (D Ind,) chairman of the Subcommittee on the Near East, said that “Jordan continues to need substantial support to build and strengthen itself in the aftermath of the September. 1970 civil war between the Jordanian army and Palestinian guerrilla groups.
This request is deemed necessary because of the cutoff in subsidy payments by Libya and Kuwait in 1970 Jordan’s need for heavy defense expenditures and the need for substantial infrastructure investments, Hamilton said.
Israel will also receive funds from a $20 million program established to demonstrate American ideas, practices and technology in education The program will aid American schools and universities abroad. New restrictions on the distribution of the funds will restrict the aid to four institutions. including one hospital and one university in any single country.
In the House debate, however, Representatives directed that the administrator of the program define the Weizmann Institute of Science as “are search institute” rather than a university. This would clear the way for aid to Hadassah Hospital, and both the Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute.