This annual bill would fund Defense Dept. programs and activities through 9/30/17, including joint U.S.-Israel missile defense programs and other relevant military programs in the Middle East. The summary below reflects the draft of the bill that passed in the House on 6/16/16. Defense Dept. appropriations for FY 2016 were ultimately extended through the first few mos. of FY 2017 with a pair of continuing resolutions (see * H.R. 5325 of 5/25/16 and *H.R. 2028 of 4/24/16).
Israeli Cooperative Programs
This bill would appropriate $600.735 m. for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs. From that total, $62 m. would be for the Israeli government’s procurement of the Iron Dome missile defense system; $266.511 m. would be for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program, including $15 m. for co-production of such in the U.S. (no more than $90 m. of which may be expended until the U.S. reaches a coproduction deal with Israel); $204.893 m. would be for an upper-tier component of Israel’s missile defense architecture, including $120 m. for the coproduction of Arrow 3 missiles in the U.S. (as with the SRBMD program, no more than $70 m. of which may be expended until the U.S. reaches a co-production deal with Israel); and $67.331 m. would be for the Arrow System Improvement Program, which includes funding for the development of a long-range detection suite. It’s important to note that these appropriations are in addition to the $3.1 b. the U.S. was scheduled to give Israel for military support in FY 2016.
After the House passed this bill on 6/16, the Obama administration released a lengthy rebuttal that specifically cited the $455 m. add-on to the administration’s requested appropriation for Israeli cooperative programs.
Although no appropriation for joint U.S.-Israeli anti-tunnel activities appeared in the bill, the House Appropriations Comm.’s recommended, in its report on 5/17, that $42.7 m. should be set aside to meet the Israeli government’s request for funding the development of an anti-tunnel system, which the U.S. and Israel embarked on in 2016.
Support for Jordan
In the provision appropriating no more than $1.1 b. for reimbursements of key allies in the fight against ISIS, the bill would stipulate that these funds may be provided to Jordan for increased border security. Furthermore, up to $500 m. would be made available for Jordan’s border security through the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund.
Oversight on Iran Policy
Any disbursements of support for the training and equipment of Syrian rebels fighting ISIS would be contingent on recipient groups having no ties to the government of Iran.
See also: the Senate’s version of this bill, S. 3000 of 5/26/16.
Last major action: 6/16/16 passed in House by yea/nay vote, 282–138.