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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Funding Bill Increases Aid to Israel by $200 Million

The Dome of the US Capitol building is visible on the morning of the State of the Union, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AIPAC commends Congress for strongly supporting Israeli security and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship in provisions included in the new spending bill.

Importantly, the legislation increases security assistance to Israel by $200 million to fully fund the first year of the new 10-year U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). These funds help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge in the region in order to defend itself, by itself, from mounting threats on its borders.

The measure also contains provisions to help Israel should it confront a security emergency. A key provision extends for two years the U.S. Defense Department’s authority to stockpile weapons in Israel. House report language also supports using the Strategic Defense Acquisition Fund “to transfer precision guided munitions” to Israeli reserve stocks. The bill also extends U.S. loan guarantees for five years should Israel face an economic emergency.

Congress continued its battle against anti-Israel bias at the United Nations (U.N.). The omnibus measure permits the president to withhold five percent of U.S. funding to any U.N. specialized agency that acts against the national security interest of the U.S. or an ally of the U.S., including Israel.

The bill also funds and expands the scope of a U.S.-Israel Homeland Security cooperation program authorized by the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. This new funding enables program expansion into the areas of cybersecurity, border security, maritime security, biometrics and video analytics.

AIPAC appreciates the strong bipartisan leadership of many members of Congress who had a hand in different parts of the bill, including: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. John Carter (R-TX).

Type: Press Release