US Senator Bob Menendez praised a bipartisan deal on federal government spending that is comprised of 12 appropriations bills, including legislation shaping American strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Authored by Menendez, Democrat Ranking Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Marco Rubio, the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 deepens US security and energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially with Israel, Cyprus, and Greece.
The bill authorizes security assistance for Cyprus and Greece and lifting of an arms embargo on Cyprus. It also authorizes the establishment of a United States-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Center to facilitate cooperation among the US, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus.
A short-term spending bill passed last month to fund the US federal government through December 20. Members of Congress have since been gearing up for discussions in hopes to pass FY 2020 appropriations this year.
While many appropriations bills have already cleared the Committee, the process had been stalled through political battles, including President Trump’s demands for more border wall funding.