Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Funding to Israel was restored to its pre-sequester level of $3.1 billion in the spending bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday. Aid to the Palestinian Authority was conditioned on its not running to the United Nations for recognition.
The $1.1 trillion bill passed Wednesday is the result of a deal brokered last month between Democrats and Republicans who have struggled for months to compromise on spending bills. It restores about half the cuts mandated by the sequestration, the across-the-board 8 percent cuts which by law kicked in last March when Congress failed to agree on a budget.
Also in the bill is $268.7 million in funding for U.S.-Israel cooperative anti-missile programs, not considered assistance because Israel contributes to the programs.
The bill also links the approximately $400 million the Palestinian Authority receives in annual assistance to programs against incitement, and cuts off aid to the Palestinians if the PA take further steps to secure statehood recognition at international bodies.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the passage.
“These funds fully meet America’s commitment in the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, helping our democratic ally meet critical defense needs during this period of heightened regional instability,” it said in a statement.
The Senate is due to consider the spending bill later this week.
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