Fact Check: GOP Claim Of 'Record-Low' Obama Budget For Israeli Missile Defense Ignores Reality [View all]
By DONNA CASSATA | Associated Press | 2 hours, 29 minutes ago in
Two powerful House Republicans accused President Barack Obama of jeopardizing Israel's security with a "record low" budget request for a cooperative U.S.-Israeli missile defense program. The election-year claim fails to take into account the billions the administration wants in aid for the Mideast ally and ignores a few Washington realities.
In his defense blueprint released this past week, Obama asked for $99.8 million for a program designed to protect Israel from short-range ballistic missiles and rockets that might be fired from Gaza or Hezbollah in the Lebanese territory or longer range missiles from Iran or Syria. The request for 2013 is slightly less than what the administration sought in 2012, $106.1 million.
"We are deeply concerned that a time of rising threats to our strongest ally in the Middle East, the administration is requesting record-low support for this vital defense cooperation program," said the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Florida. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, California Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon.
In a letter to Obama, they cited his "iron-clad commitment" to Israel's security in the State of the Union address and argued that "such deep cuts in your budget hardly seem to suggest `iron-clad' support."