US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy released the names of the members of the newly created House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group on Friday.
Earlier this year during his visit to Israel, Mccarthy had committed to the creation of a Parliamentary Friendship Group with the Knesset. He and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana both signed a joint pledge to that effect during the trip.
Parliamentary friendship groups are supposed to help friendly nation's parliaments increase cooperation and promote friendly relations between nations and their elected representatives.
This will be done through engaging more directly with Israel’s Knesset, continuing to travel to Israel on a bipartisan basis, and hosting Knesset members who travel to America.
Members of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group
The group consists of 12 members, 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats: Chairman David Kustoff (R-TN), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Anthony D'Esposito (R-NY), John James (R-MI), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Max Miller (R-OH), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).
“Today, the growing partnership and enduring friendship between Israel and America enters an exciting new chapter,” said McCarthy.
“For the first time in history, the 435 members of the House and the 120 members of the Knesset have a forum to engage directly with one another, seek solutions that benefit our nations, and faithfully represent our peoples’ hopes and dreams together. I look forward to working closely with Speaker Ohana in this effort, which I believe will further foster and strengthen the special relationship between Israel and America.”
“I am honored to be appointed Chairman of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group,” said Congressman Kustoff. “I applaud Speaker McCarthy for establishing this group tasked with strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and building a better understanding of our two democracies. Now more than ever, it is imperative we show the rest of the world that the United States stands firmly with our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East, Israel. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important initiative.”