House passes U.S.-Israel strategic partnership bill

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) on stage with AIPAC board member Mort Fridman at this week's 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference. Royce is a co-sponsor of the newly passed United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013. AIPAC applauded the bill's adoption. Credit: AIPAC.

( The American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday applauded the adoption of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 by the House of Representatives.

The passage of the bill in a 410-1 vote comes after AIPAC held its annual policy conference this week in Washington, D.C.

The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Eliot Engel (D-NY), declares Israel as a “major strategic partner” of the U.S.

AIPAC said in a statement that the bill would “dramatically strengthen the relationship between the two allies as they work to confront new threats and challenges in the Middle East.”

In addition, the bill includes a number of areas of expansion between the allies, such as expanding forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, the transfer of essential military equipment to Israel, a visa waiver program for Israel, assistance for the Iron Dome missile defense system, and the promotion of cooperation in energy, water, science, homeland security, and agriculture. 

Posted on March 5, 2014 .