UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL SPACE COOPERATION ACT
(House of Representatives - December 18, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 206 (Monday, December 18, 2017)]
[Pages H10161-H10162]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL SPACE COOPERATION ACT

  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 1159) to provide for continuing cooperation between the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Israel Space Agency, and 
for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1159

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``United States and Israel 
     Space Cooperation Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds that--
       (1) authorized in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration (NASA) supports and coordinates United States 
     Government research in aeronautics, human exploration and 
     operations, science, and space technology;
       (2) established in 1983, the Israel Space Agency (ISA) 
     supports the growth of Israel's space industry by supporting 
     academic research, technological innovation, and educational 
     activities;
       (3) the mutual interest of the United States and Israel in 
     space exploration affords both nations an opportunity to 
     leverage their unique abilities to advance scientific 
     discovery;
       (4) in 1996, NASA and the ISA entered into their first 
     agreement outlining areas of mutual cooperation, which 
     remained in force until 2005;
       (5) since 1996, NASA and the ISA have successfully 
     cooperated on many space programs supporting the Global 
     Positioning System and research related to the sun, earth 
     science, and the environment;
       (6) the bond between NASA and the ISA was permanently 
     forged on February 1, 2003, with the loss of the crew of STS-
     107 including Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon;
       (7) the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 
     2014 (Public Law 113-296) designated Israel as a Major 
     Strategic Partner of the United States; and
       (8) on October 13, 2015, the United States and Israel 
     signed the Framework Agreement between the National 
     Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of 
     America and the Israel Space Agency for Cooperation in 
     Aeronautics and the Exploration and Use of Airspace and Outer 
     Space for Peaceful Purposes.

     SEC. 3. CONTINUING COOPERATION.

       The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration shall continue to work with the Israel Space 
     Agency to identify and cooperatively pursue peaceful space 
     exploration and science initiatives in areas of mutual 
     interest, taking all appropriate measures to protect 
     sensitive information, intellectual property, trade secrets, 
     and economic interests of the United States.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Dunn) and the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice 
Johnson) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.


                             General Leave

  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include 
extraneous material on H.R. 1159, the bill now under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the United States and Israel Space Cooperation Act 
deserves

[[Page H10162]]

our support. The peaceful use of outer space and cooperation with our 
friends and allies lie at the very heart of NASA's mission.
  The United States has been a partner and a friend to the Israeli 
space program since its creation three decades ago. Our voyages have 
brought us closer together as nations, as partners, and as friends. Our 
shared quests for peace, knowledge, and friendship echo our experiences 
together on Earth.
  But sadness and sorrow have tested that relationship. Israel's first 
astronaut, Ilan Ramon, flew to space for the first time on the ill-
fated Space Shuttle Columbia. Even though that accident tragically 
ended the life of Ilan and six U.S. crew members, the U.S. and Israel 
turned that tragedy into hope, working together even more closely.
  In 2015, the U.S. and Israel again renewed their partnership with 
another 10-year commitment to peaceful cooperation in space. That 
mutual commitment to the peaceful exploration of outer space has grown 
even stronger with the passage of this act under consideration today.
  Peaceful space exploration offers all humanity a common, noble goal, 
extending our collective reach further into the heavens. Reaching 
farther and broadening our understanding of the universe is one of the 
most important and honorable challenges that we can face together. I 
believe that working together with our allies and partners on the 
peaceful exploration of space is an essential part of what makes NASA a 
vital national asset. This bill strengthens NASA's ability to do this 
important work.
  I am also pleased that the bill includes a recognition that sensitive 
and proprietary information should be protected.

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. Speaker, I invite all of my colleagues to join me in support of 
the United States and Israel Space Cooperation Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1159, the United States and 
Israel Space Cooperation Act. The cooperation between the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, and the Israel Space Agency 
is just one example of peaceful international cooperation that has been 
a hallmark of NASA's approach since its inception in 1958.
  In fact, when Congress passed NASA's founding legislation, the Space 
Act of 1958, one of the primary objectives established for the agency 
was: ``7, Cooperation by the United States with other nations and 
groups of nations in work done pursuant to this act and in the peaceful 
application of the results thereof.''
  NASA has followed this objective over the years in a variety of ways. 
Since its establishment in 1958, NASA has entered into over 5,000 
original agreements with international entities, and currently NASA has 
over 800 active cooperative agreements across a range of disciplines 
with over 120 countries and international organizations.
  These international partnerships have led to a range of benefits in 
scientific advancement, access to scientific data, partnering in 
exploration, and sharing the costs and risks of space missions.
  NASA has had a long and fruitful relationship with the country of 
Israel, and that cooperative relationship continues to this day. 
Current activities with Israel include the involvement of almost 200 
Israeli schools in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the 
Environment, GLOBE, educational project; collaboration on atmospheric 
and climate research; and numerical cloud modeling, among other 
activities.
  I think it is also fitting to remember that the crew of the ill-fated 
Space Shuttle Columbia mission, STS-107, included an Israeli astronaut, 
Ilan Ramon, who, along with the entire STS-107 crew, tragically 
perished with the loss of the space shuttle orbiter on February 1, 
2003.
  Israel has shared in the great achievements of NASA as well as great 
losses that have paved the way for future space explorers. Their 
sacrifice will be held in our hearts as we work to further space 
exploration for the benefit of mankind.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the sponsor of this legislation, Mr. 
Kilmer, for introducing the bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as 
he may consume to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Kilmer).
  Mr. KILMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill, but before I 
do, I want to just briefly acknowledge the members of my community who 
were affected by a tragic Amtrak derailment in Pierce County, 
Washington, today. The families of those we lost and all the folks 
affected by this are in my prayers tonight.
  Mr. Speaker, on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy came before 
this body and gave an urgent special address. He laid out the costs of 
supporting the space program and of going to the Moon, and he said: 
``We choose to go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, 
free men must fully share.''
  Today, Mr. Speaker, that journey continues as we take a vote to 
formalize sharing a space partnership between our Nation and a close 
ally and friend, the nation of Israel.
  This partnership began in 1985 when NASA and the Israel Space Agency 
began cooperating on a limited basis. A decade later, our Nation signed 
an agreement to allow Israeli astronauts to begin training with their 
American counterparts.
  In 2003, Israeli Air Force Colonel Ilan Ramon became the first 
Israeli astronaut. He traveled to space aboard the Space Shuttle 
Columbia. It was a 16-day mission, and the crew of six Americans and 
one Israeli conducted 80 experiments that helped us understand our 
place in the universe just a little bit better.
  Tragically, the celebration of this partnership turned to shared 
mourning as Columbia was lost on reentry, but the tragedy did not stop 
our shared journey into space. To this day, we continue to cooperate, 
including on projects everyone benefits from, including the Global 
Positioning System, and research that helps us better understand the 
Sun, and even research related to our environment here on Earth.
  In 2015, NASA and the Israel Space Agency signed a civil space 
framework agreement to formalize and expand cooperation in civil space 
activities.
  Mr. Speaker, today's vote continues a deep and lasting partnership 
among free societies. I have been proud to work with a number of my 
colleagues and NASA and everyday Americans who know that all mankind 
benefits when we explore our universe.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the chairman for his leadership on 
these issues and the ranking member, who has been such a champion in 
support of smart policies in the arena of science, space, and 
technology. I also would like to thank the majority and minority staff 
from the committee for the work that they do.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have no further 
requests for time. I urge passage, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Dunn) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 1159, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. DUNN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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