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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sequester? What sequester?

The US House of Representatives has voted to restore aid to Israel to its pre-sequester level of $3.1 billion. At the same time, aid to the 'Palestinian Authority' was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations unilaterally for recognition. Additionally, a portion of the aid to the 'Palestinian Authority' was conditioned upon the 'Authority's developing programs against incitement.
The amount is in line with a 2007 10-year memorandum of understanding that guaranteed Israel an average of $3 billion a year in assistance.
Aid to the Palestinian Authority was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations for recognition.
Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs. This is not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs. The annual US assistance, too, has strings attached: it is conditional on the money being used for purchasing weapons from the US.
The $1.1 trillion bill passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans, who have been fighting over the spending bill for months. It restores about half the cuts made in the “sequestration,” the across-the-board 8 percent cuts which by law went into force in March, when Congress failed to agree on a budget.
The bill also makes the $400 million the Palestinian Authority (PA) receives in annual assistance dependent on programs against incitement, and cuts off aid to the Palestinian Arabs if the PA takes further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.
JPost adds:
The overwhelming passage of $3.1 billion in Israel security assistance as part of the larger omnibus appropriations bill again demonstrates the bipartisan commitment to ensuring Israel’s security needs are fully met," Eliot Engel (D-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

A substantial portion of the aid package is earmarked for Arrow, Arrow 2 and David's Sling, Israel's long- and medium-range missile defense systems.
I don't think Obama would dare to oppose a higher level of aid to Israel in a (Congressional) election year, but I would bet that he was ask the Democrat-controlled Senate to try to get the conditions to aid to the 'Palestinians' deleted.

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At 10:15 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, "security" (Arrow, Arrow 2, David's Sling, and I guess other military equipment & programs) are A-okay, IMHO. I wonder if there is a list of the line items, so we can see whether any of it is Green $lu$h or Big Data $lu$h. Has anybody seen the line items? They used to hold hearing on this stuff, so you'd know a lot of what was in them. But now it is monster bills with no one even reading them. I'll google around for a link (unless anyone has one already?).

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hmmm....Being the 'imperial pres' with a pen he won't ask anyone anything and give the Palestinians all they want.


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