U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised President Obama for signing her bipartisan bill, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, into law. The measure reaffirms the United States' "unwavering commitment" to Israel's security and U.S. support for Israel's right to self-defense.
The President signed the measure at the White House, joined by Senator Boxer, Congressman Howard Berman and others. A photo of the signing ceremony is available here.
Senator Boxer said, "President Obama made history today by signing this bipartisan legislation, which reaffirms in the strongest terms the special relationship between the United States and Israel while also ensuring that Israel has the tools it needs to defend itself. Others may posture and promise, but President Obama is leading by standing with Democrats, Republicans and independents and showing the world the strong U.S.-Israeli relationship -- not with words, but with deeds."
The legislation includes important measures to strengthen economic and security cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, including extending current loan guarantees to Israel, which are set to expire later this year, and authorizing an increase in the United States' stockpile of military equipment in Israel.
The measure also will solidify the United States' commitment to assisting Israel's efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security," while also encouraging Israel's neighbors to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
The Senate bill, which had 72 cosponsors, was authored by Senator Boxer and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The House bill was introduced by House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and cosponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA).