US Congress 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The top members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday
filed legislation to extend Israel’s loan guarantees.
The bill, widely
expected to pass, would give Israel until 2015 to use $3.8 billion in guarantees
left over from the original $9b. in guarantees granted in 2003.
Congress continue to stand with Israel to help safeguard its financial
security,” said Howard Berman, HFAC ranking member, in a statement announcing
the filing of the legislation.
“Just as we are committed to ensuring
Israel’s qualitative military edge, we must do what we can to protect Israel’s
economic strength so it is able to address the many security threats it
Even if Israel doesn’t take advantage of the loan
guarantees, having the backing of the United States helps the country obtain
favorable rates on money it borrows internationally, serving as an important
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, HFAC chairwoman, pointed out that
the move made fiscal sense even during tough economic times because the
guarantees would not cost money to the United States.
continue to stand foursquare with Israel and provide it, upon request, with loan
guarantees that provide a key cushion of support in times of need, at no cost to
the American taxpayer,” she said in a statement.
The loan guarantees
would come on top of more than $3b. in military assistance and joint US-Israel
missile defense projects that America is slated to give Israel in the coming