Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Congressional Spending Bill OKs Israel Defense Aid

The massive spending bill passed by Congress includes defense assistance for Israel along with tightened oversight of Palestinian funding and Iran nuclear talks.

Included in the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill passed in the Senate by a 56-40 vote on Saturday night was the $3.1 billion in annual defense spending for Israel under a 2007 memorandum of understanding between the United States and Israel. An additional $620 million in joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs also was part of the measure.

Passed in the waning days of the congressional session, the bill also includes provisions requiring the White House to report to Congress every 30 days on Iran’s compliance with the terms governing nuclear talks between Iran and major powers.

In a statement praising passage of the measure, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee noted that it “also reiterates that it is the policy of the United States to seek to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to produce or otherwise manufacture nuclear weapons.”

Keeping Iran from obtaining “nuclear weapons capability” has been a key point of contention between the Israeli and U.S. governments. Israel and some lawmakers in Congress want any deal to end Iranian uranium enrichment; the Obama administration has said that a final deal likely will allow for a minimal enrichment capability.

New strictures in the spending bill would reduce or eliminate funding for the Palestinian Authority should it not combat incitement to violence; should Hamas have “undue influence” over its workings; and should Palestinian representatives gain statehood recognition in international forums outside of the context of talks with Israel.

The omnibus bill was the result of contentious negotiations between the White House and both houses of Congress on the eve of the Senate’s transfer of leadership from Democrats to Republicans.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill last week.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.