September 28, 2023

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

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) 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.

“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.”

“The U.S. Security Coordinator in Jerusalem plays a crucial role in protecting American interests and deescalating conflict in Israel and Palestinian territories,” said Senator Ossoff. “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.”

“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 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.

Full legislative text is available here