U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s, D-Fla., proposal offering U.S. support for defending Israel from drone attacks is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.
Two weeks ago, Crist and U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., teamed up to bring out the “United States-Israel Joint Drone Detection Cooperation Act.” The bill authorizes the White House “to enter into a cooperative project agreement with Israel to counter unmanned aerial vehicles that threaten the United States or Israel.” Crist’s office noted drones launched by the Iranian regime could be a threat to Israel.
Crist announced this week that the proposal he and Johnson championed will be part of the “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act” which is being sponsored by the two South Florida representatives in charge of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee—chairwoman U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and ranking Democrat U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. According to Ros-Lehtinen’s office, “affirms the bipartisan support for the unshakeable U.S. - Israel relationship and for Israel’s right to defend herself” by following the funding levels established in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two nations back in 2016. The proposal continues those levels for an additional five years, extending it to FY2019-23.
"The United States and Israel have an unbreakable bond, a rock-solid partnership that greatly benefits both countries," Crist said on Wednesday. "I thank my dear friends, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Deutch, for including our important effort to help the U.S. and Israel defend against the new and growing threat of drone attacks."
"The close alliance between the United States and Israel is invaluable for both our nations, and essential for the security of Israel and the stability of the Middle East," said Johnson. "Defense strategies in that region must constantly adapt as new technologies and new threats emerge, and I am grateful our drone detection legislation has been included in the bipartisan U.S.-Israeli Security Assistance Authorization Act. It is encouraging to work in Congress with so many leaders on both sides of the aisle who share a commitment to these priorities."