The US House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved the annual Department of Defense funding bill for 2022, which includes $500 million for joint US-Israel missile defense programs and vital funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
The approval followed passage of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill earlier this month which included important provisions to support the US-Israel relationship, including $3.3 billion in continued security assistance.
AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in the US, welcomed the approval of the bill, noting in a statement, “Bipartisan leaders in Congress and the Biden admin came together to strengthen and expand the US-Israel relationship.”
The bill includes collaboration on lifesaving missile defense programs like Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow keeps Americans and Israelis safe, grows our economy, and creates American jobs.
It also includes $47.5 million for US-Israel anti-tunnel technology cooperation, and $25 million for US-Israel counter-unmanned aerial systems (UAS) cooperation.
Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL) said following the approval, “This bill funds missile defense technology that protects Israeli and Palestinian civilians from terror groups like Hamas who fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities while hiding behind civilians in Gaza.”
“This cooperation also protects both Israel and the United States from long-range missile threats from Iran and other foreign adversaries. I’m proud that Congress continues to reiterate what the vast majority of my constituents and the American people know to be true – support for Israel is support for America,” she added.
After the recent round of fighting in Gaza, US President Joe Biden said he ensured then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) subsequently said that Israel would ask the US for $1 billion in aid to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken later said that the United States is committed to replenishing Iron Dome.
The US has continuously provided Israel with aid, including in the 2016 memorandum of understanding between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government that guarantees Israel $38 billion in security assistance over 10 years, protecting the assistance from the whims of any current or future president.