Foreign Relations Authorization and Reform Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011

May 19, 2009
May 19, 2009
Referred to House (sub)committee

No cosponsors.

This bill would provide the legal authority for the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies involved with U.S. foreign relations to carry out their activities and obligate funding for them. This bill was introduced by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is reflective of foreign policy goals of the right-wing of the Republican party.

Title XII of this act, titled ‘Israel’, contains the following five provisions:

• Section 1201 expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should continue yearly increases in military aid to Israel in line with the August 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. To that end, it authorizes ‘such sums as may be necessary’ to meet the increased aid levels for 2010 and 2011.
• Section 1202 states that the policy of the United States shall be to provide for the deployment of a missile defense system ‘capable of defending Israel against ballistic missile attack from Iran, Syria and other threats; and to expand the existing U.S. missile defense system to ‘fully integrate with the defenses of Israel’ to protect against both missile and short range projectile attacks. Seeks to authorize ‘such sums as may be necessary’ from the Dept. of State and Foreign Operations budget for the U.S. to co-develop joint ballistic missile, medium and short-range missile defense systems with Israel. Funds for this program are normally drawn from the Dept. of Defense budget since it is the agency with sole responsibility for the program. This includes co-production of Arrow missiles, system development of the short-range ballistic missile defense system ‘David’s Sling’, and its integration into U.S. missile defense system. Both of these projects have been funded by the U.S. in the past, but this section would also authorize funds to conduct research, development, test, and evaluation of the Iron Dome short-range projectile defense system, which had previously been funded solely by Israel. It would also require the secy. of state, in consultation with the secy. of defense, to report to Congress within 180 days and yearly thereafter on these activities.
• Section 1203 states the finding of Congress that the United States and Israel are robust democracies with shared commitments to promoting freedom and human rights, and securing peace in the Middle East; cooperation with Israel is among the strongest of all U.S. allies; and that Israel’s economic well-being and security require a guaranteed source of energy. Accordingly the bill states the policy of the United States shall be to reach an agreement on nuclear cooperation with Israel.
• Section 1204 states that the policy of the United States shall be to support and advocate for Israel’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
• Section 1205 states the sense of Congress that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected as they have been by Israel since 1967. Would require all government documents which list countries and their capitals to list Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; revoke the President’s authority to waive recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on national security grounds contained in the Jerusalem Embassy Act; formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and would immediately relocate the United States embassy to Jerusalem. Authorizes such sums as may be necessary to complete construction of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

Other portions of the bill also contain relevant provisions:

Seeks to withhold all U.S. funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Would authorize the use of $25 m. from funds provided under the Migration and Refugee Assistance account for fiscal year 2010 and ‘such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2011’ to be used to resettle refugees in

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