House committee approves enhancements to Israel’s military edge

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee overwhelmingly approved a bill that would enhance the U.S. commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) would increase presidential reports to Congress on how the executive branch is guaranteeing Israel’s QME from once every four years to once every two years and would add assistance to Israel’s cyberwarfare capabilities to the definition of QME.

The committee on Wednesday approved the bill by unanimous consent, and now it goes to the full House for consideration.

Collins noted the bipartisan support for the bill in a statement after the vote.

“This process was built on the strongest foundation: a real, bipartisan commitment to America’s vital relationship with Israel,” he said. “We worked together and found a way to make this relationship even stronger with the increasingly important principles of transparency and accountability.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), a Democratic sponsor of the bill, said the need for intensified focus on the U.S.-Israel military relationship arose from the recent turmoil in the Middle East.

“As Israel continues to face a broad spectrum of threats, from a nuclear Iran to a collapsing Syria, the United States must be steadfast in its efforts to ensure that Israel has the tools to maintain its qualitative military edge over those who seek to do it harm,” he said.