House committee approves Israel defense aid


A congressional committee approved a bill that increases defense assistance to Israel.

The Security Assistance and Arms Control Act of 2008 was approved Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and is now ready to be considered by the full House.

It codifies President Bush’s pledge last year to increase defense aid to Israel from $2.4 billion annually to an average of $3 billion annually over the next 10 years.

Authored by committee chairman Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the bill also creates mechanisms to evaluate arms sales in the Middle East against a guarantee that Israel will maintain a qualitative edge.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee strongly backs the bill.

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