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Saturday, July 15, 2017

House approves defense bill with missile aid for Israel

The House of Representatives on Friday passed a $696 billion defense policy bill that includes $705 million for U.S.-Israeli missile defense cooperation.
 
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was approved 344 to 81, gaining the support of 117 Democrats and all but eight Republicans, according to Politico.
 
The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its version of the annual legislation last month. The full Senate has yet to take up the bill.
 
The bill provides a total of $705 million for research and development and procurement funding for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense systems.
 
The funding represents a $558 million increase from President Donald Trump's budget request for these programs, and $105 million over last year’s adopted funding level.
Last December, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of a defense policy bill which includes more than $600 million for missile defense cooperation with Israel.
 
This aid is separate from the memorandum of understanding signed between Israel and the U.S. last September, and which grants Israel $3.8 billion annually beginning in 2018 and through 2028.
 
After the memorandum of understanding was signed, Republican senators said they would seek to overturn part of it so that Israel can receive even more aid.