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Lawmakers see U.S. rights to Iron Dome

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Advisory language attached to a bill that would fund an expansion of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system seeks U.S. proprietary rights to the technology.

The Strategic Forces subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives this week approved $680 million in funding for the short-range anti-missile system.

The Hill newspaper reported that the "report" accompanying the bill advises that U.S. officials seek rights to the technology.

The United States maintains proprietary rights to other missile defense systems it shares with Israel.

Report language is not obligatory, although it often shapes how federal officials carry out policy.

The Obama administration gave Israel $205 million in 2009 on top of its $3 billion defense assistance to help launch the system.

President Obama’s original budget proposal had no funding request for the missile defense system, but in recent weeks Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, citing its success in repelling barrages of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip earlier this year, said the administration would agree to additional funding.

In March, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and ranking Demcorat Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) introduced the Iron Dome Support Act, which authorized the president to provide additional assistance to the missile defense program.

The legislation has garnered 74 co-sponsors. 

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