WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Friday on Congressional funding for Israel’s security:
“One of the most successful aspects of the decades-long partnership between the United States and Israel has been our joint development of missile defense systems. Cooperative programs such as Iron Dome have saved the lives of countless civilians from Hamas rockets fired indiscriminately into Israel. New systems such as David’s Sling and Arrow III will soon help thwart adversaries such as Hezbollah and its arsenal of rockets as well as Iran’s growing stockpile of ballistic missiles.
“Year-after-year, and on a bipartisan basis, the United States Congress has increased funding for missile defense programs above the Administration’s request. In the past five years alone, Congress has provided $2.6 billion for cooperative programs with American and Israeli companies working together to build these critical defense systems. The current House and Senate Appropriations proposals would be in line with previous year increases.
“As the United States and Israel work to conclude negotiations on a new Memorandum of Understanding regarding military aid, I strongly support continued Congressional funding increases to meet our ally Israel’s security needs.
“I urge the Administration and my fellow lawmakers to work together to fully fund our cooperative missile defense programs. They are an investment in protecting innocent human lives from attacks by our common foes.”