This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.
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The White House announced its opposition to a congressional proposal to increase funding by $445 million for Israel’s missile defense program in the 2017 budget.
In a “Statement of Administration Policy” released by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday, the administration said it “opposes the addition of $455 million above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defense procurement and cooperative development programs.”
Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $600 million in funding for fiscal year 2017 – an increase of $113 million from last year and $454 million over President Barack Obama’s request.
In a statement AIPAC said it was “deeply disappointed” that the increased funding has been objected by the administration. “On a bipartisan basis, Congress has increased funding above administration requests this year, as it has done for well over a decade,” AIPAC said.
“These cooperative programs – including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome – are critical for Israel’s defense against a growing array of missile threats and make an important contribution to U.S. missile defense programs. We applaud Congress for consistently supporting these key programs, and urge their full funding in both the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts.”
Negotiations currently underway between Israel and the administration over a new 10-year “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) is intended to address Israel’s security concerns and guarantee its qualitative military edge in the region in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal.
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