Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, has pledged his strong support for Israel’s request for an additional $225 million for its Iron Dome missile defense system. The request, which has the strong support of the Department of Defense, was communicated to Congress in a letter from the Secretary of Defense (letter).
“The only thing standing between Israel and a barrage of Hamas rockets is the Iron Dome. We should ensure that Israel has the ability to utilize the Iron Dome and protect innocent civilians from rocket attacks during this crisis and into the future,” said Ranking Member Smith. “I applaud Secretary Hagel and the Administration for making this request. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to get this request approved.”
Traditionally, there has been strong bipartisan support for Israeli missile defense programs in Congress. In the FY2015, the Department of Defense requested $176 million for the Iron Dome. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) added an additional $175 million for a total of $351 million for Iron Dome. HASC also added additional funding for other Israeli missile defense systems, including an additional $65.8million for Arrow for a total of $130.9 million and an additional $106.2 million for David’s Sling for a total of $137.9 million. In all, the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains more than $600 million in funding for Israeli missile defense and the United States has provided over $1 billion for Iron Dome since its inception, including the FY15 authorization. The House bill was passed in June. The Senate has not passed its version of the NDAA.
“For too long the people of Israel have lived under the threat of missiles falling out of the sky at any moment. We should help them protect themselves from that threat. Congress should approve this funding as quickly as possible,” continued Smith. “It is my firm belief that both the Israeli and the Palestinian people want peace. The United States should continue to stay focused on brokering a peace agreement so the suffering in Gaza and Israel can come to an end.”