What? Americans have to repay U.S. for emergency flights out of Israel
Americans trying to fly out of Israel in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks shouldn't have to reimburse the U.S. for flights, according to legislation introduced this week by a New Jersey congressman.
The bill from U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, would get rid of a mandate that's currently requiring U.S. citizens — before they board a U.S.-chartered flight — to sign a promissory note that they'll repay the government for its departure assistance.
“The United States, which has rightfully provided humanitarian evacuations for hundreds of thousands in war zones, free of charge, over the years, should not be making US citizens — who are desperately trying to flee Hamas’ unbridled terror and deadly antisemitism — take out a loan in order to reach safety,” said Smith.
Making matters worse, the actual cost of the flights out of Israel won't be determined until a later date, Smith's office said.
Smith said his office has been contacted by more than 600 constituents who are requesting help with evacuating Israel.
“We need to have the backs of our fellow Americans who are in harm’s way and get them home,” Smith said.
Once they're back to safety, Smith's office noted, Americans still have to pay for other arrangements to get back home. Many had paid for flights home that were cancelled because of the attacks that began on Oct. 7.
Smith's bill also calls for an investigation into any potential price gouging by airlines on the heels of the terrorist attacks.
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