WASHINGTON (May. 26)
The U.S. House of Representatives passed by a 328-90 vote Wednesday a $14.3 billion foreign aid bill, which includes $3 billion in economic and military assistance for Israel.
The Israel aid, all of it in grant rather than loan form, provides $1.8 billion in military aid and $1.2 billion in economic assistance for the 1989 fiscal year, the same amount as in recent years.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would allow Israel to spend $400 million in Israel, rather than buying the goods and services from the United States, as required in all foreign aid provisions. This was granted Israel after it agreed last year not to build the Lavi jet fighter.
This is the first time since 1981 that the House has passed a separate foreign aid bill rather than as part of a general spending bill. President Reagan has threatened to veto any omnibus spending bill.
While the amount of aid to Israel has not been challenged in recent years, the appropriation for Israel has frequently helped win congressional approval for the overall foreign aid budget in a Congress bent on trimming the federal deficit.
The bill also provides Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid and $815 million in economic assistance.