House passes bill to aid Jordan in war against ISIS

The House passed legislation on Tuesday that would facilitate U.S. weapons transfers to Jordan in the fight against Islamic State militants.

The measure, which sailed through on a voice vote, would allow the U.S. to treat Jordan in the the same way it handles arms transfers to other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries. Such a designation would expedite congressional review of proposed weapons exchanges.

It would further authorize the State Department to enter into agreements with Jordan to increase financial assistance and military cooperation, subject to the availability of federal funds.

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“Congress must do everything that we can to help our friends defend themselves and defeat this scourge of terror,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who authored the legislation.

Jordan has become host to nearly 630,000 Syrian refugees displaced by the war, according to the United Nations.

The U.S. has provided $467 million in humanitarian assistance to Jordan as of January 2015 as part of the response to the influx of Syrian refugees. Syrians have also fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryAn all-female ticket? Not in 2016 GOP senator calls for China to crack down on illegal opioid Obamas to live in home of former Clinton press secretary: report MORE signed an agreement with the Jordanian government in February that stated an intention to increase U.S. assistance to the country from $660 million to $1 billion annually through 2017.

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