Rep. Ted Budd Requests Funding for Israel’s Missile Defense Systems
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) joined a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense requesting funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs like the Iron Dome.
The full text of the letter is below:
We greatly appreciate your efforts to advance U.S.-Israel defense cooperation – a critical investment that provides security and stability to the Middle East. Israel will require significant investment in Fiscal Year 2023 to defend herself against aerial threats posed by a wide array of hostile adversaries. As you begin to work on the FY 2023 Defense Appropriations Bill, we respectfully request $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, which is in keeping with the agreed upon ten-year Memorandum of Understanding and will be the amount requested in the President’s FY 2023 Missile Defense Administration Budget.
We request that the $500 million should be divided into the following accounts, $200 million of which for Procurement, and $300 million for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E).
As you know, these programs are essential to the safety and security of Israel. Prioritizing and ensuring robust funding for these programs is necessary to address the evolving threats posed by Israeli adversaries, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran – all of which are developing more advanced short, medium, and long-range rocket, missile, and drone capabilities. Iran’s increasing presence in Syria reaffirms the need for these important defensive technologies. These programs also yield a tremendous return-on-investment for the United States in the form of economic, technological, and military benefits.
Benefits from U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation extend well beyond the Middle East. Our forces face challenges from an emboldened, aggressive, and increasingly militarized Russia, North Korea, and other adversaries, heightening our immediate need for advanced missile defense technology to protect our forward-based forces and key fixed installations. Information sharing and live-fire exercises between the United States and Israel provide important knowledge and readiness for our men and women in uniform. The strength of the Iron Dome has been so significant that the U.S. Army procured two batteries and recently tested the system on Guam.
As we see our enemies more emboldened and their capabilities growing, joint U.S.-Israel security cooperation is needed now more than ever. U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs are a win-win for the United States, as they save lives, prevent conflict escalation and advance U.S. objectives by promoting regional stability and protecting a valuable ally.
During these challenging budgetary times we can and must prioritize federal funding for programs where federal involvement can have the greatest impact on the safety and security of the American people, our troops, and our allies. These highly advanced missile defense systems have consistently been a key factor in Israel’s self-defense and further technological and operational advancements will be crucial moving forward. We want to thank the Committee for its past support and look forward to working with you to sustain and advance the critical partnership between the U.S. and Israel.