Foreign Aid for Israel Moves Ahead

The foreign aid authorization bill for fiscal 1981 which contains $1.4 billion in foreign military sales credits for Israel and an additional $785 million in economic support funds, was approved last night by the House-Senate conference committee. The bill now has to be approved by both houses of Congress and is expected to be taken up there early next month.

The decision to try to complete action on the foreign aid bill, which seemed to be in limbo earlier this month following the sweeping election victory by Ronald Reagan, was based in part by the concern that the aid for Israel could not be added to a Congressional resolution to continue foreign aid funding at the previous year’s level of about $1 billion. The House-Senate conference took only one day to approve the bill.

In addition to aid for Israel, the bill also recommended $550 million in military sales credits for Egypt and $750 million in support funds. In addition, Egypt would receive $274 million under the Public Law 480 food Program. The only other Middle East country stated to receive a significant amount of aid is Jordan which would get $100 million evenly divided between economic support funds and military sales credits.

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