House spending bill includes full $3.1 billion for Israel


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Funding to Israel was restored to its pre-sequester levels in the spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill keeps funding for Israel at $3.1 billion for 2014, the amount designated in a 10-year memorandum of understanding from 2007 that guaranteed Israel an average of $3 billion a year in assistance.

The $1.1 trillion measure passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans who have struggled for months to compromise on spending bills.

It restores about half the cuts mandated by the sequestration, the across-the-board 8 percent cuts that by law kicked in last March when Congress failed to agree on a budget.

Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs that is not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs.

The bill also links the approximately $400 million in assistance to the Palestinian Authority for programs against incitement and severs aid to the Palestinians should the P.A. take further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the passage.

“These funds fully meet America’s commitment in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, helping our democratic ally meet critical defense needs during this period of heightened regional instability,” AIPAC said in a statement.

The Senate is due to consider the spending bill later this week.

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