Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011

June 26, 2009
December 22, 2010
Became Public Law

This continuing resolution allows the federal government to remain in operation from 12/3/10 through 3/4/11 by continuing the funding provided by the Continuing Appropriations Act (see H.R. 3081 of 6/26/09 for specific funding levels and more on FY2011 funding through continuing resolutions). In effect, government agencies can only spend the same amount of money on the same projects as they did in the previous fiscal year until Congress passes a regular appropriations bill. Budget disputes between Democrats and Republicans made passage of regular appropriations impossible before the end of the 111th Congress. This measure delayed the need for passage of long-term spending bill until after the start of the 112th Congress when Republicans assumed control of the House of Representatives and a larger minority in the Senate.

Specifically for Israel this means that the United Israel Appeal will receive $25 m. to help integrate Jewish migrants into Israeli society. Israel will also receive its annual Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant; however, the continuing resolution caps the grant at $2.775 b. This amount is $225 m. below the $3 b. pledged to Israel by the George W. Bush administration for FY2011. The administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel in August 2007 which lays out the precise amount of military aid the U.S. will provide Israel for each year from 2009 to 2018. Israel’s FMF grants funds are normally to have been approved and deposited into an interest-bearing account with the U.S. Federal Reserve bank at the beginning of the fiscal year (1 October) or shortly thereafter. Although the additional $225 m. was passed in April 2011 by the 112th Congress, delaying the deposit reduced the amount of interest Israel could earn on its military aid.

Additionally, passage of the continuing resolution also delayed a planned increase in funding for missile defense programs for Israel being jointly produced by the U.S. and Israel, as well as President Obama’s request for $205 m. for Israel to purchase its own Iron Dome missile defense units.

For the West Bank and Gaza, while the level of aid was not deeply affected, passage of this bill delayed the start of any new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) projects there, and only allowed existing projects to continue. Much of the aid given to West Bank and Gaza is distributed by USAID to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations that carry out a multitude of different economic, humanitarian, infrastructure, and social projects in the territories. A $50 m. funding increase for U.S. Security Coordinator’s training program of the PA security forces was also delayed.

See also: similar measure H.R. 3081 of 6/26/09 and related measure S. 3676 of 7/29/10.

Became public law 111-322 (12/21/10 passed in House 193-165; 12/21/10 passed in Senate 79-16)

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