Sens. Ossoff & Young Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Sustain High-Level U.S. Engagement for Stability in Israel & the Middle East

Bipartisan bill would fund & maintain the U.S. Security Coordinator position for another 5 years and protect it from downgrades in rank

Last year, Sens. Ossoff and Lindsey Graham led bipartisan group of 34 U.S. Senators in successfully pushing Biden Admin to protect the key U.S. diplomatic & security post

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is continuing his work to promote peace in the Middle East and support American national security.

Today, Sens. Ossoff, Todd Young (R-IN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the bipartisan Middle East Security Coordination Act to strengthen and protect a key U.S. military and diplomatic post in the Middle East.

The bipartisan bill would authorize new funding for the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, coming after threats to downgrade its rank last year.

The USSC is a joint, international, interagency office with Department of Defense servicemembers assigned to the State Department. Based in Jerusalem, the USSC serves as a crucial liaison between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and leads international coalition efforts in support of peace and stability.

The bill would strengthen Congressional oversight over any future effort to reduce the USSC position and require the U.S. Secretary of State and USSC to produce a report for Congress about the Coordinator’s work in the Middle East.

Last year, Sens. Ossoff and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) successfully led a bipartisan group of 34 U.S. Senators urging the Biden Administration to maintain the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) position at the three-star rank.

“The U.S. Security Coordinator in Jerusalem plays a crucial role in protecting American interests and deescalating conflict in Israel and Palestinian territories,” Sen. Ossoff said. “With tensions rising in this area, these efforts are essential. That’s why I’m leading this bipartisan legislation to support U.S. National Security and peace in the Middle East.”

“Strengthening this key diplomatic role is critical to the U.S.-Israel relationship and our shared national security interests,” said Senator Young. “Our bipartisan bill will promote stability in the Middle East and ensure robust American engagement in the region.”

“In the face of recent unrest in the West Bank, I’m proud to play a role in leading this important measure that invests in returning stability to the situation on the ground and builds towards a two-state solution. The United States Security Coordinator (USSC) plays a central role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East,” said Senator Booker. “We must provide the necessary resources and support to the USSC to ensure its continued effectiveness at fostering cooperation and security coordination between Israelis and Palestinians.”

“The US Security Coordinator is critical to Israeli security, US national interests, and stability in the Middle East,” said Sen. Lankford. “As we continue to strengthen the Abraham Accords and their national security and strategic defense benefits among the US, Israel, and the Accords members, we can and should provide leadership to help promote security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel and the Palestinian Authority can continue to work toward peace while they cooperate to protect innocent families and businesses.”

“Israel Policy Forum welcomes this outstanding bipartisan initiative for Israeli security, Palestinian stability, and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. We commend Senators Ossoff, Young, Booker, and Lankford for their exceptional leadership on this critical legislation. Israel Policy Forum has a long history of supporting Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation and the vital work of the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) and are grateful to have partnered on this crucial effort,” the Israel Policy Forum said. “We are gratified that the successful bipartisan coalition that prevented the downgrade and potential dissolution of the USSC has been mobilized to promote this next important step, which will help bring greater stability and security to Israelis and Palestinians alike by ensuring that the USSC is adequately resourced and supported. A strong USSC mission is a vital building block to the effort to stabilize the situation on the ground and shape an environment conducive to a viable final status negotiation and an ultimate two-state outcome.”

Click here to read the Middle East Security Coordination Act.

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