Formerly the Dept. of State and foreign operations funding bill for FY2010, this bill was completely rewritten as a continuing resolution, a blanket measure that provides stop-gap funding for the federal government to remain in operation past the end of the fiscal year, in this case until 12/3/10. Ordinarily, Congress passes 12 regular appropriations bills each year which provide funding for various parts of the federal government. These bills are lengthy and highly detailed in order to fund and regulate specific activities and programs carried out by government agencies. Funding from the FY2010 appropriations bills passed the previous year ran out on 10/1/10, and because Congress was not able to pass any of the annual, regular appropriations bills for FY2011 by that date, this continuing resolution was necessary. This relatively short-term extension was meant to give the House and Senate more time to pass regular appropriations bills before the Congress adjourned in late December.
Specifically, the bill contains a blanket measure that continues funding for the State Dept. and foreign operations at the level provided for FY2010 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (see H.R. 3288 of 7/22/09 in JPS 155 for details). This means that until a regular appropriations bill was passed, the State Dept. could only spend the same amount of money on the same projects that were provided for by the Consolidated Appropriations Act unless an earmark in this bill specifically increases funding for it. One such earmark increases the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant to Israel to $2.775 b., which is over and above the funding provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act ($2.22 b.). In 2009, Congress passed two bills providing military aid to Israel (the other being the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009, H.R. 2346 of 5/22/10), which together provided the $2.775 b. pledged to Israel by the George W. Bush administration for FY2010. This special provision grants Israel the amount provided by both bills.
Despite the increase, this amount is still $225 m. below the $3 b. pledged to Israel by the George W. Bush administration for FY2011. The administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel in August 2007 which lays out the precise amount of military aid the U.S. will provide Israel for each year from 2009 to 2018. Israel’s FMF grants funds are normally to have been approved and deposited into an interest-bearing account with the U.S. Federal Reserve bank at the beginning of the fiscal year (1 October) or shortly thereafter. Although the additional $225 m. was passed in April 2011 by the 112th Congress, delaying the deposit reduced the amount of interest Israel could earn on its military aid.
These other funding also remained unchanged from 2010:
$202.434 m. for the Dept. of Defense to continue research, development, and procurement of missile defense systems for Israel that are being jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel.
$68.5 m. for the Dept. of Defense to build a facility to develop the land-based SM-3 missile system. The SM-3 is being developed for use by the U.S. military as well as for possible use by Israel should it be required.
$25 m. for the United Israel Appeal, which in turn helps finance programs of the Jewish Agency for Israel that aim to integrate Jewish migrants into Israeli society.
For the West Bank and Gaza:
A total of $102.5 m. to provide training and nonlethal equipment to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.
$400.4 m. in economic assistance to the PA, including $150 m. to be transferred directly to the PA treasury and $248 m. to fund U.S. Agency for International Development programs in the West Bank and Gaza.
$238 m. in economic and security assistance that the Dept. of State requested in order to counteract Hizballah and police Palestinian refugee camps.
$26 m. for the Multinational Force and Obs