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GOP, Democratic appropriators agree on funding for Israel

JTA

July 26, 2011 | 3:40 pm

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

House Republican and Democratic appropriators said assistance to Israel would continue at existing levels, although they agreed on little else.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee, in a joint statement with Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of Appropriations, said that Israel’s $3.075 billion in aid would remain unaffected under the 2012 State and Foreign Operations Act.

Hearings on the bill start this week.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the foreign operations subcommittee, said she was “pleased” that the measure “fully funds our commitment to ensure our ally Israel maintains its qualitative military edge,” but she decried other proposed cuts, saying the result would be to “downsize” the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Granger countered that the cuts ensure “tough oversight and accountability.”

The appropriations bill, which outlines spending, is a companion to the State Department authorization bill approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which sets conditions for spending.

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