U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Howard P "Buck" McKeon (R-Ca.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to President Obama urging the President to reconsider the proposed cut in U.S. support for Israeli missile defense programs in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget request. For a copy of the letter, please click here. Joint statement by Ros-Lehtinen and McKeon:
"The defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a vital component of maintaining our nation's safety and security. The democratic, Jewish state of Israel is indisputably one of our best friends and closest allies. Israel's missile defense program is an essential counterweight to the growing Iranian threat, as well as a necessary tool for Israel to defend itself against other hostile entities in the region. We are deeply concerned that the Administration's cuts to Israeli missile defense programs will jeopardize Israel's ability to defend its very existence.
"It is our hope that the President will revise his budget request to include additional funding for Israel's missile defense program, and maintain our critical partnership."
NOTE: The amounts requested by the Administration for missile defense for Israel have declined from $121.7 million for FY 2011 to $106.1 million for FY 2012 to the current request of $99.8 million for FY 2013.