Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, today urged a key House panel to increase funding for Israel's missile defense systems including the Iron Dome, Arrow, Arrow 3 and David's Sling programs.
In a programmatic request to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Reps. Roskam and Meng requested $350.9 million for Iron Dome--a boost of $175.9 million over the President's budget and $130.9 million above fiscal year 2014 funding--and $268.7 million for the Arrow, Arrow 3, and David's Sling systems, an increase of $172.1 million over the Administration's request and level funding from fiscal year 2014.
"Missile defense cooperation with Israel is one of the smartest, most mutually beneficial security investments," said Congressman Roskam, who also the co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. "The unprecedented success of Iron Dome has been a game-changer for Israel by shielding its people from incessant rocket fire from terrorist organizations within the Gaza Strip. We must also continue to work with Israel to co-develop Arrow-3 and David's Sling in order to confront increasingly sophisticated missile threats from Iran, Hezbollah, and others. I am pleased to work in a bipartisan fashion with Congresswoman Meng to expand and accelerate America's critical strategic partnership with Israel."
"The continued threat of a nuclear Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the ongoing rocket and missile attacks against Israel make increased funding for the anti-rocket systems essential," said Meng. "It is imperative that Israel have the ability to defend itself, and boosting funding to these programs would further illustrate America's commitment to stand by its dear friend and ally. I urge the subcommittee to approve this additional money."
These funding increases are necessary in order to meet evolving missile threats from Israel's neighbors and allow the United States to co-produce Iron Dome, which creates American jobs and grants the U.S. a share in its advanced technology.
Last year, Roskam introduced the bipartisan United States-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation Act to authorize assistance to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, and direct cooperation on the development, maintenance, enhancement, and sustainment of the David's Sling, Arrow, and Arrow 3 anti-missile defense systems.