Strengthening America’s Allies In The Middle East

‘The Senate Is Moving Quickly To Assert Its Point-Of-View On U.S. Policy Regarding Syria And In The Broader Middle East’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[F]or years, America’s vital interests in the Middle East have been jeopardized by regional chaos…. That’s why the Senate is going to vote later today to take up pressing legislation that tackles all of this head-on. The bill at hand would reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and authorize military assistance, cooperative missile defense, and loan guarantees. It would counter an aggressive and hostile attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel through economic boycotts. It would also reauthorize efforts to strengthen defense cooperation with Jordan, as its people and government grapple with the security and humanitarian ramifications of the Syrian crisis. And importantly, the legislation also includes the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. This provision would hold accountable the individuals responsible for the senseless evils of the Assad regime and impose severe penalties on the entities that support them.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/08/2019)


Package Of Bipartisan Legislation ‘Is Designed To Illustrate The Need For A Strong, Continuing U.S. Presence In The Middle East’

“The Senate is moving quickly to assert its point-of-view on U.S. policy regarding Syria and in the broader Middle East …” (“Senate Set To Assert Itself On Syria Sanctions, Middle East Policy Early In 2019,” Roll Call, 1/03/2019)

  • “Senate aides say the move is designed to illustrate the need for a strong, continuing U.S. presence in the Middle East and re-assert the role of Congress on national security.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)

“The bill, also called the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act, rolls together four bills that were supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the last Congress but weren't ultimately enacted before the year ran out.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)

  • “Other parts of the Senate bill aim to bolster U.S. support for allies who neighbor Syria and are thus on the front lines of pushing back against the extremist threat in Syria as well as Iran's presence there. One piece boosts U.S. defense cooperation with Jordan while another authorizes continued U.S. financing to Israel to buy American weapons and allows the U.S. to transfer its own munitions to Israel in an emergency.” (NBC News, 1/03/2019)


Bipartisan Bill Sponsors Say Measure ‘Greatly Enhances Our National Security,’ ‘Will Help Israel Protect Itself,’ ‘Takes A Strong Stance Against The Anti-Israel And Anti-Semitic BDS Movement’

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “It is in America’s national security interests to ensure that our allies in the Middle East like Israel and Jordan remain secure amid the region’s growing destabilizing threats posed by Iran and Syria’s Assad regime. This important bill will also impose new sanctions against the Assad regime and its supporters who continue to commit horrific human rights violations against the Syrian people.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 1/03/2019)

SEN. JIM RISCH (R-ID): “This package of legislation is an important step toward finishing the work of the last Congress. Israel and Jordan have been steadfast allies of the United States that deserve this support. Also, it is vital to confront Syrian government atrocities and end discrimination against Israel.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed these bills last Congress and they had near unanimous support. It is time to move them forward.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 1/03/2019)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “I am proud to sponsor this legislation, which enhances our alliances in the Middle East, condemns the heinous human rights abuses of the Assad regime, and takes a strong stance against the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic BDS movement. This bill greatly enhances our national security and I urge its quick and bipartisan passage into law.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 1/03/2019)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “The passage of this bipartisan legislation represents the continuation of America’s unshakable, seven-decade commitment to Israel’s security. The security assistance included in this bill will help Israel protect itself in the midst of regional instability; deter – and if necessary defend against – Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; and deepen bilateral ties for the next decade and beyond.” (Sen. Coons, Press Release, 7/11/2018)

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): “Amid the turbulence in the region today, this legislation sends an important message to the world that the United States will take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure Israel’s ability to protect and defense herself. This important effort authorizes, increases, enhances, and enriches cooperation that reflects the critical importance of our bilateral relationship, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to quickly send it to the President’s desk for his signature into law.” (Sen. Menendez, Press Release, 8/02/2018)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “This bipartisan legislation gives state and local governments a legal way to combat the shameful boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. Israel has been our strongest ally in the Middle East and we need to send them a strong signal that we will do everything in our power to fight the BDS movement.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 1/18/2017)

  • SEN. MANCHIN: “We don’t have a better ally than Israel…. And basically, anti-Semitism can’t be tolerated in any way, shape, or form. And I’m going to defend Israel every way and every time I can…. I’m going to support the [anti-]BDS bill … that I’ve cosponsored with Marco [Rubio].” (Fox News, 1/08/2019)



Related Issues: War on Terror, ISIL, Syria, Israel