May 7, 2012
House subcommittee set to OK $1 billion for Israel anti-missile programs
The U.S. House of Representatives defense appropriations subcommittee is set to approve nearly $1 billion for Israeli and joint Israeli-U.S. missile defense programs.
“This funding level is the highest ever appropriated in a single year for these life-saving programs,” Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), a member of the committee, said in a statement.
Some $680 million of the $947 million set to be approved Tuesday in a session of the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will go to the Iron Dome short-range anti-missile system, a result of legislation initiated by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), respectively the chairwoman and senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The bill was spurred by Iron Dome’s success in repelling a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip earlier this year and the Obama administration’s readiness to consider further funds for the project.
The remaining $269 million will go to the short-range David’s Sling and long-range Arrow anti-missile programs, representing a hike from the $100 million proposed earlier this year in the Obama administration’s budget.
Those programs are joint U.S.-Israel projects, while Iron Dome is an Israeli project, although congressional appropriators have expressed interest in obtaining U.S. proprietary rights to Iron Dome.