Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, released the following statement:
Today, the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a strong message, to our friends and our enemies, by appropriating the highest levels of funding for the joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs in our history.
Given America's significant budget challenges, every single dollar we are expending on behalf of the U.S. taxpayer must be given the highest level of scrutiny, including funds appropriated toward the defense of the United States and its allies. It is a mark of the importance of these jointly developed missile defense programs -- Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and David's Sling -- that they were all robustly funded by our Subcommittee.
I thank Chairman Bill Young (R-FL), Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA), and all my colleagues on the Defense Subcommittee for their leadership and vision in funding these life-saving programs. With their support, the Subcommittee has appropriated $235.7 million in funding for essential joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs for the coming year. I am proud that since 2007, the Defense Subcommittee has allocated more than $1 billion in federal funding for the U.S.-Israel joint missile and rocket defense programs.
The growing proliferation and increasing deadliness of missiles and rockets around the world -- including those possessed by dangerous regimes such as the one headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and President Bashar al-Assad in Syria -- pose a direct threat to U.S. national security. Funding these new technologies serves our interests in the volatile Middle East, and wherever America's troops and citizens are stationed. This allocation helps fulfill the most important role of the U.S. House of Representatives: keeping America and her citizens safe.