Schumer, Gillibrand announce that U.S.–Israeli missile defense to receive $500 million boost

Both the National Defense Authorization Act and End-Of-Year Appropriations Package Authorize and Fund Critical Israeli Security Systems

WASHINGTON, DC  U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, today announced that following their push, the U.S.–Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Program will receive $500 million in federal funds. The FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed earlier this week, authorizes full funding for the development of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 weapon systems; and the end-of-year appropriations bill, which passed yesterday, includes $500 million for these programs.

The U.S.–Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Program is a multi-tiered defense system capable of countering a wide range of threats from state and non-state actors. Gillibrand and Schumer have long led the push in the Senate to secure authorization and funding for this program.

“Israel is a staunch and steady ally and we must work with our ally to ensure it has the means to sufficiently defend itself from deadly terrorist rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians,” said Senator Schumer“I am proud to play a leading role in our ongoing support for Israel’s critical self-defense systems, including the vital and successful Iron Dome anti-missile system. These bills provide $500 million in federal funds to the U.S.Israeli missile defense programs, including the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 systems. This massive investment is vital to the safety and security of Israel and will help save countless lives in the future.”   

“At a time of great instability in the Middle East, this funding is critical for the safety and protection of Israel, our closest ally in the region. These missile defense programs have helped keep civilians in Israel safe from missile attacks numerous times,” said Senator Gillibrand, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Committee. “I’m proud to lead the push in the Senate for this funding every year, and I’m pleased it has been included in the final NDAA and end-of-year appropriations package. This will help Israel protect its people and keep stability in the region.”

Schumer and Gillibrand have long supported funding for the U.S.–Israeli Missile Defense Program. For years, Gillibrand has led a bipartisan letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in support of this funding, and in April, led a bipartisan letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense signed by 39 Senators. Last year, Schumer and Gillibrand successfully fought to include more than $700 million in funds for the defense programs.

The full text of Gillibrand’s letter to Senate Appropriators may be found here.

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