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H.R. 938 (113th): United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

3/5/2014--Passed House amended. United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 - (Sec. 3) Declares that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States.

Title I: United States-Israel Strategic Alliance - (Sec. 101) Amends the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 to change language regarding certain actions to assist in the defense of Israel and to protect U.S. interests from a "sense of Congress" to actions the "President should take."

Requires the President to report to Congress regarding such actions.

Amends the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2005 to extend authority to transfer certain obsolete or surplus Department of Defense (DOD) items to Israel.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to extend authority to make additions to foreign-based defense stockpiles for use as war reserve stocks through FY2015.

Requires the President to report to Congress regarding the status of Israel's qualitative military edge every two years. (Such report is currently due every four years.)

Directs the Secretary of State to report to Congress regarding the range of cyber and asymmetric threats posed to Israel by state and non-state actors, and joint U.S.-Israel efforts to address such threats.

(Sec. 102) Directs the President to direct the Secretary of State to undertake discussions with Israel to identify the steps necessary to include Israel within the list of countries eligible for the Strategic Trade Authorization exception to the requirement for a license for the export, re-export, or in-country transfer of an item subject to certain export controls. (This exception authorizes exports, re-exports, and in-country transfers, including releases within a single country of software source code and technology to foreign nationals, in lieu of a license that would otherwise be required. The list of countries eligible for the license exception covers those countries with respect to which the reasons for control that would ordinarily impose the license requirement include national security, chemical or biological weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, regional stability, crime control, and/or significant items authorized for destinations in or nationals of a specified Country Group.)

Directs the President to report to Congress on the status of such negotiations every 180 days for three years or until Israel is included in the list of eligible countries.

Directs the President to direct the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that Israel is treated no less favorably than other members or adherents to the Missile Technology Control Regime.

Urges the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to consider giving preference to providing insurance, financing, or reinsurance for energy and water projects in Israel.

Authorizes the President to carry out cooperative activities with Israel and to provide assistance to Israel that promotes cooperation in the fields of energy, water, agriculture, alternative fuel technologies, and civil space.

Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to enter into cooperative research pilot programs with Israel for: (1) border, maritime, and aviation security; (2) explosives detection; and (3) emergency services. Authorizes FY2014 appropriations.

(Sec. 103) Expresses a sense of Congress that the United States and Israel should take steps to increase cyber-security cooperation.

(Sec. 104) States that it should be U.S. policy that the President should provide assistance, upon Israel's request, for the David's Sling Weapon System, the joint United States-Israel Arrow Weapon System (Arrow 2 and Arrow 3), and the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system.

(Sec. 105) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the United States and Israel should continue collaborative efforts to enhance Israel's military capabilities, (2) the United States and Israel should conclude an updated Memorandum of Understanding regarding U.S. security assistance to help Israel meet its security requirements and uphold its qualitative military edge, (3) the United States should ensure that Israel has timely access to important military equipment, and (4) the United States should continue to support Israel's right of self-defense.

(Sec. 106) States that it shall be U.S. policy to include Israel in the list of countries that participate in the visa waiver program when Israel satisfies, and as long as Israel continues to satisfy, such program's requirements.

(Sec. 107) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Department of State should continue its coordination on monitoring and combating anti-Semitism with the government of Israel.

Title II: United States-Israel Energy Cooperation - (Sec. 201) Amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, with respect to United States-Israel energy cooperation, to authorize the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to make grants to eligible applicants, including projects involving joint ventures of the U.S. and Israeli governments, to promote: (1) natural gas energy, including natural gas projects conducted by or in conjunction with the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, the United States-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation; and the United States-Israel Science and Technology Foundation; and (2) improvement of energy efficiency and the overall performance of water technologies through research and development in water desalination, wastewater treatment and reclamation, and other water treatment refiners.

Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to enter into cooperative agreements supporting and enhancing dialogue and planning involving international partnerships between DOE, including its National Laboratories, and the government of Israel and its ministries, offices, and institutions.

Limits the federal share of costs under such agreements to 50%.

Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to establish a joint United States-Israel Center based in an area of the United States with the experience, knowledge, and expertise in offshore energy development to further collaboration to develop more robust academic cooperation in energy innovation technology and engineering, water science, technology transfer, and analysis of geopolitical implications of new natural resource development and associated areas.

Extends the grant program through FY2021.

Title III: Offset - (Sec. 301) Amends the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 to reduce specified funding for Pakistan through FY2014.