Cantor, Hoyer look to speed sale of F-35 aircraft to Israel

"The ties that bind the United States and Israel are cemented by our mutual dedication to freedom, opportunity and democracy," Cantor said upon releasing the bill. "We must support our ally and send a message that the United States and Israel will always stand together."

Hoyer added that the bill reflects the "enduring bond" between the two nations.

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"It is a bond that reflects the shared values of our people and our shared interests in preserving stability in the Middle East," Hoyer said. "The threat from Iran’s nuclear ambitions is real and demands serious, cooperative effort by both the United States and Israel."

While much of their bill reads like a non-binding resolution, the report requirements it imposes on the administration give it a weightier status. Specifically, it calls for a report from the administration 180 days after the bill's passage that explores "actions to improve the process relating to Israel's purchase of F-35 aircraft to improve cost efficiency and timely delivery."

The same report must also examine ways to "expand cooperation between the United States and Israel in homeland security, counterterrorism, maritime security, energy, cybersecurity and other appropriate areas," as well as ways to integrate Israel into the defense of the eastern Mediterranean.

A separate report, also due 180 days after passage, would have to examine the status of "Israel's qualitative military edge in light of current trends and instability in the region."

More broadly, the bill reaffirms the U.S. policy of commitment to the security of Israel, to help Israel deter military threats, veto anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and support Israel's right to self-defense. It also calls on the government to "pursue avenues to expand cooperation with Israel in both defense and across the spectrum of civilian sectors, including high technology, agriculture, medicine, health, pharmaceuticals and energy."

The bill also includes a sense of the Congress finding that the United States should help Israel develop missile defense systems, give Israel strategic military equipment like air refueling tankers and offer Israel surplus defense items as the United States draws down force levels in Iraq.

The legislation is co-sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and ranking member Howard Berman (D-Calif.).