Originally titled the Dept. of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, this bill was passed by the House on 6/15/07 and the Senate on 7/26/07. In the process of resolving the differences between the two versions, the bill was amended to include regular FY2009 appropriations for the Depts. of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
With regard to Israel, appropriations for the Department of Defense include $177.237 m. for U.S.-Israeli cooperative programs for missile defense system procurement and development. Of this amount, $72.895 m. is for development and procurement of the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense program (SRBMD, or “David’s Sling”); $74.342 m. is for the Arrow Missile Defense Program, including $13.076 m. for producing Arrow missile components in the U.S. and Israel; and $30 m. is for an “upper-tier component” to the Arrow system to enhance its capabilities. Both the Senate and House Armed Services Committees have identified the need for this enhancement of the Arrow’s capabilities to protect Israel from the threat posed by Iranian and Syrian ballistic missiles.
Division A of the bill, introduced in anticipation of a budget dispute with the Bush administration, is a continuing resolution which acts as a stop-gap measure to maintain funding for all other federal agencies and programs, including aid programs for Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority, at FY2008 levels (as provided under the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, FY2008; see H.R. 2764 on 6/18/07 for details) until regular appropriations for FY2009 can be passed or until 3/6/09, whichever comes first.
For Israel, appropriations under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) account for FY2008 reached $2.38 b. (after adjustments within the Omnibus bill), so the continuing resolution ensures aid at the same level for FY2009. Section 165 of the resolution permits Israel to use $670.65 m. of the $2.38 b. total to procure defense-related articles in Israel, an increase of nearly $40 m. over FY2008’s $631.2. With bridge funds provided by the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (see H.R. 2642 on 6/11/07), total U.S. FMF assistance to Israel for FY2009 was raised to $2.55 b. The increase in funds Israel may spend domestically restores the usual percentage of 26.3% relative to total U.S. aid to Israel for FY2009.
See also: related measures H.R. 2642 on 6/11/07, H.R. 2764 on 6/18/07 for FY2008 appropriations, S. 3288 on 7/18/08 for FY2009 appropriations; and H.R. 5916 on 4/29/08 and H.R. 7177 on 9/27/08 for further action on the MoU.
9/30/2008 Became Public Law 110-329 (9/24/08 passed House 370-58-1; 9/27/08 passed Senate 78-12).