Senate Extends Ford’s Authority to Continue Military Purchase Credits to Israel

By better than a three-to-one margin, the Senate approved Friday continuation for two years of standby authority for the President to extend military credits and guarantees for Israel to purchase American equipment. The vote for passage was 68-22 after a move to table the legislation was defeated 32-59. The authorization, first introduced by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash) in 1970 and continued biennially since, was sponsored by Jackson and Sens. James Buckley (R-C NY). Hubert H. Humphrey (D Minn), Clifford Case (R NJ) and Harrison Williams (D NJ).

The opposition was led by Sen, John Stennis (D Miss) head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who contended that the authorization was not within the jurisdictional limits of the Defense Procurement Bill. He was supported by Sens. Barry Goldwater (R Ariz), James Abourezk, (D SD) and Sam Nunn (D Ga). It was reported here that President Ford, in briefing Congressional leaders on his talks with Egyptian and Israeli leaders, opposed the measure.

The authorization which extends through December 1977, enables the President to grant financial assistance to Israel as may be necessary. It contains no dollar ceiling. Its purpose is to allow credit to be extended in the event the formal foreign aid legislation gets bogged down in the legislative process leaving the President without authority to aid Israel.

NEXT STORY