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Congress Expected to Increase Aid for Israel in 1985 in Form of Grants

August 16, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Congress is expected to provide increased aid for Israel in 1985, all of it in the form of grants, when it adopts the omnibus federal appropriations bill as a continuing resolution in September.

The 1985 package for Israel includes $1,4 billion in military aid, $550 million more than in 1984, and $1.2 billion in economic aid, $290 million more than this year. Israel will also be allowed to use some of its United States military credits in Israel to develop its new fighter plane, the Lavie.


“This is the best aid package for Israel we have ever been able to get through my subcommittee,” said Rep. Clarence Long (D.Md.) chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on foreign operations. “Most importantly, when the Israel economy faces a 300 percent infiltration rate, Israel can not afford to incur new debt. It was not an easy struggle to convince the committee to convert from loans to grants but I was able to persuade them.”

In the Senate, Sen. Charles Percy (R.III.) chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that since the Senate is not expected to adopt a foreign assistance bill, he is offering the increases for Israel as amendments to the continuing resolution. “Because of Israel’s critical economic situation, I feel strongly about working for these amendments, ” Percy said.


Both Percy and Long have each sponsored a provision to make the 1985 grants for Israel available in the first quarter of the fiscal year, which begins October 1, rather than in quarterly disbursements. This will allow Israel to ease its cash flow problems, according to Long.

Long said he was able to get his subcommittee to approve, despite Reagan Administration objections, resolutions expressing the sense of Congress that “no sophisticated weaponry” should be sent to Jordan until it begins serious political negotiations with Israel, or to Egypt until it abides by the Camp David agreements. A spokesman for Long explained that while these resolutions are not binding, they do send a “signal” to the Administration.

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