Congress begins passing bills to give Israel more money – Part one: $550 million

Congress begins passing bills to give Israel more money – Part one: $550 million

Senate roll call vote, August 1, 2018, on Defense Bill that contains $550 million for Israel (still image from C-Span video).

Congress just passed a bill that would give Israel $550 million. Another is still pending – this one would give Israel about $38 billion.

By Alison Weir

The Times of Israel reports that the U.S. Senate just passed a defense bill that includes $550 million for Israel.”

The bill, entitled The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was passed by the House of Representatives last week and now goes to President Trump to sign it into law.

It was passed by a Yea-Nay Vote, 87 – 10.

AIPAC (The American Israel Political Affairs Committee) issued a press release, “Congress Adopts Final Defense Bill with Pro-Israel Provisions,”  that stated:

AIPAC commends the U.S. Congress for including important pro-Israel provisions in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. These critical provisions will help protect Israel against mounting security threats. The bipartisan measure authorizes $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and up to $50 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation.”

The AIPAC release reported:

“The legislation also includes other important pro-Israel provisions. It extends authorization for the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and authorizes an additional $1 billion in U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel. It calls for a joint assessment of the quantity and type of precision-guided munitions necessary for Israel to defend itself against Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups [sic]. For the first time, this measure authorizes the establishment of a cooperative R&D program with Israel to develop capabilities for countering unmanned aerial systems.”

The statement concluded: “AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA).”

U.S. media, which have reported widely on the bill, have so far failed to tell Americans about the $550 million to Israel.

The full title of the bill is “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” and the complete text is here. The number in the House of Representatives is H.R.5515 and in the Senate is S.2987. The concurrent report is here.

The overall bill provided authorization for an expenditure of $716.3 billion for “defense.”

Ten Senators voted against the Defense Bill and three didn’t didn’t vote:

Durbin (D-IL)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Lee (R-UT)
Markey (D-MA)
Merkley (D-OR)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sanders (I-VT)
Warren (D-MA)
Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting – 3
Paul (R-KY)
Flake (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)

Video of the roll call vote is here.

$38 billion to Israel

A related bill, H.R.5141 – United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, is still before Congress; the Senate is expected to vote on it soon. The House version is still in committee.

The current text would authorize $38 billion to Israel over the next 10 years. This works out to about $23,000 per each Jewish Israeli family of four.


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