- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2019

The leading members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday unveiled legislation that would allow the U.S. to provide loans for members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to upgrade their weapons stockpile and reduce their dependency on Russia and China for acquiring arms.

The bill, co-sponsored by committee Chairman Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, and ranking member Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, would give Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the power to authorize direct loans to the 29-member alliance to modernize their armed forces.

“This important legislation will allow for the United States to provide our allies with loans so they can replace their archaic Soviet-style military equipment with updated systems that are consistent with NATO’s operational capabilities,” Mr. McCaul said in a statement.

He argued that the legislation would also make the U.S. defense industry more competitive.

The latest bill comes as lawmakers, including Mr. Engel, have moved to block multi-billion dollar arms sales to Persia Gulf nations, sending a warning to the administration about limiting weapons sales to the Middle East as tensions continue to rise between the U.S. and Iran.



“The United States needs to show strong leadership and support our European partners — because our own security depends upon a strong, modern NATO alliance,” Mr. Engel said.

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