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December 13, 2013  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Congress triples Obama’s request on defense cooperation with Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) – 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 longrange 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.

Separately, the House on Dec. 11 passed a bill by a 399-0 vote that would enhance the U.S. commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. The bill increases the frequency that the president must report to Congress on the maintenance of Israel’s advantage from every four years to every two years. It also adds requests for reports on cyber security and asymmetric warfare.

Additionally, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would create a strategic energy partnership between Israel and the U.S. 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 the two countries on energy development.

The bill calls for the creation of a U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence to promote the development of advanced energy technologies. A similar bill has been introduced into the Senate.

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