WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced their Israel Relations Normalization Act was included in the FY2022 bipartisan funding agreement, which passed the Senate by a vote of 68-31.
“Agreements like the Abraham Accords have the potential to fundamentally change the Middle East region for the better,” said Senator Risch. “I am glad the Senate has finally passed legislation that calls for a strategy to strengthen and expand the Accords, ensure the agreements reap tangible economic and security benefits, and guarantee the State Department and other federal agencies are appropriately resourced to drive additional agreements forward.”
“I am pleased the FY 2022 bipartisan funding agreement includes this important legislation,” said Senator Portman. “This bill will encourage normalization of relations between Israel and other countries in the region, which will help build on the success of the Abraham Accords, support our ally Israel and enshrine the longstanding U.S. goal of encouraging states in the Middle East to revoke anti-normalization laws. This bill sends an important signal of unity and solidarity to the international community at a time when such a signal is needed.”
“I applaud the Senate for including and passing this critical bipartisan legislation as part of the FY 2022 funding bill. Expanding the Abraham Accords to strengthen the relationship between Israel and its neighbors is crucial for securing peace and promoting economic prosperity in the region, which are both vital to our national security interest,” said Senator Booker. “This bipartisan bill leverages American diplomacy to help the Abraham Accords reach their full potential while reaffirming U.S. policy to support a two state solution. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues across the aisle to continue and reaffirm the strong bipartisan commitment to Israel’s security.”
“I thank my colleagues for their bipartisan support for our legislation to expand and strengthen other nations’ relations with Israel, which is in America’s national security and economic interest,” said Senator Cardin. “The recent agreements between Israel and several Arab states foster stability and bring tangible benefits to the region.”
“I am glad this legislation is included in the FY22 funding bill,” said Senator Young. “Encouraging other countries to expand and deepen their ties with Israel is good for Israel and significantly benefits our own national security interests. This legislation sends an important message of cooperation with Israel at a time when that support is critically important.”
The Israel Relations Normalization Act builds upon the success of the Abraham Accords, the peace and normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, by stating U.S. policy is to strengthen and expand these normalization agreements while requiring coordination throughout the administration, specifically the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.