WASHINGTON (Jul. 30)
The House passed by a large majority today a bill which extends the President’s authority to provide Israel with arms and credits by another 18 months. The Senate earlier this week adopted the bill which authorizes the Defense Department to purchase $31.2 billion in weapons. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.
The authorization for Israel, which is part of the massive arms purchase bill, extends the President’s authority from Dec. 31, 1975, when it was to expire, until June 30, 1977. The authorization was worked out by a House-Senate conference committee in which House members objected to the authorization being included in a Defense Department appropriations bill. However, they gave in after Senate members argued that failure to approve the extension “might be construed as unwillingness of the Congress to maintain the status quo in the Middle East.”