Rep. Smith introduced this bill on the same day he voted against the House version of the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill (see H.R. 3081 of 6/26/09) which would provide the same amount of aid to Israel and contains the same provisions relating to Israel as this bill (detailed below). Smith’s opposition to H.R. 3081 was based on funding in the bill for international organizations that provide abortions, and introducing this bill was apparently his attempt to signal his support for U.S. assistance to Israel despite his vote against H.R. 3081.
For Israel aid would appropriated under the following accounts:
Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA): Would provide $25 m. to the United Israel Appeal, which in turn helps finance programs of the Jewish Agency for Israel that aim to integrate Jewish migrants into Israeli society by funding their transportation to Israel, Hebrew language instruction, and vocational training.
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) Program: $2.22 b. would be provided for Israel to purchase U.S.-produced weapons, defense equipment, defense services, and military training with the option of using $583.86 m. of these funds to purchase Israeli weapons and military equipment. The funds are to be disbursed by 15 January 2010 into an interest bearing account with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.
U.S. funding for the IAEA would be available only if the secy. of state reports to Congress that Israel is not being denied its right to participate in the Agency’s activities.
Additionally the bill would also carry over these annual provisions:
• Stating the sense of Congress that the Arab League boycott of Israel should end, that relations between Arab states and Israel should be normalized, and that the U.S. should vigorously oppose the boycott.
• A prohibition on U.S. assistance for the establishment of a Palestinian state unless the secy. of state certifies that certain conditions are met, including, inter alia, that the PA is working toward peaceful coexistence with Israel, peace in the Middle East, and the dismantling of terrorist infrastructures, and that it is cooperating with Israeli security organizations.
• A prohibition on appropriating any funds for any U.S. agency in Jerusalem, except the U.S. consulate, that conducts business with the PA or any successor government.
See also: similar measures H.R. 3081 of 6/26/09, S. 1434 of 7/9/09, and H.R. 3288 of 7/22/09; and related measure H.R. 1105 of 2/23/09.