Obama budget guts funding for Israeli missile defense

Obama budget guts funding for Israeli missile defense

Joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs would be reduced by nearly $200 million under President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, prompting concern from lawmakers who have fought to keep the critical defense programs fully funded.

Israeli Cooperative Programs—which include the Arrow II, Arrow III, and David’s Sling missile defense systems—are slated to receive $96.8 million under Obama’s newly released budget proposal, a reduction of nearly $200 million from the previous year’s finalized levels.

The funding dip hits as the White House seeks to significantly reduce the overall U.S. defense budget and enact severe cuts to the U.S. military.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, slammed the administration for insufficiently funding the joint missile projects, which benefit both Israeli and American security. …

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The Obama administration proposed similar cuts to these programs last year. Congressional appropriators intervened to raise the programs’ funding to more robust levels, approving a total of $283.7 million for these programs in fiscal year 2014 after the Obama administration requested $95 million.

Lawmakers awarded these missile defense programs a total of $268.7 million in fiscal year 2013.

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