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Congress triples Obama’s request on defense cooperation with Israel

JTA

December 19, 2013 | 11:58 am

The final version of the congressional defense budget triples the Obama administration’s request for funding for joint U.S.-Israel defense cooperation.

The $284 million in the budget released jointly on Dec. 10 by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate budget committees — up from the $96 million requested by the Obama administration — includes funding for the Arrow long-range anti-missile system and the David’s Sling and Iron Dome missile defense systems. The full National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 is virtually assured passage.

Defense cooperation funding, to which Israel contributes, is separate from the $3.1 billion Israel receives in defense assistance as part of a 10-year package.

Additionally, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would create a strategic energy partnership between Israel and the United States. The measure, referred to the full House on Dec. 10, amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and is designed to strengthen collaboration between Israel and the United States on energy development.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) led the charge for the countries to develop ways for long-term, strategic cooperation on energy matters.

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