An Act Making Appropriations for National Security and for Other Purposes, 2016

October 5, 2015
October 6, 2015
Placed on Senate calendar

This bill would have provided funding for the Depts. of Defense, Energy and Water Development, and Homeland Security, as well as the State Dept., foreign operations, and related programs for FY 2016. Relevant to the Palestinians and the broader Palestinian-Israeli conflict are its provisions related to military and economic support for Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, restrictions on aid to the Palestinians, policy on Iran, and nonlethal assistance for Syrian civilians. Ultimately, Defense Dept., and State Dept. and foreign operations funding for FY 2016 passed into law in an omnibus appropriations bill, *H.R. 2029 of 4/24/15, on 12/18/15. See that bill for details.

For appropriations bills that do not pass, the Congressional Monitor provides summaries reflecting only the differences between relevant provisions between early drafts and those in the bills that eventually pass into law. In this case, those included sections on joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs, military and economic support for Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, and oversight and policy on Iran (provisions related to support for the Palestinians were all carried over into the final bill intact). The following, therefore, represents the priorities of the Senate Appropriations Comm. when it was introduced on 10/5/15.

Because the Senate Appropriations Comm. had already produced individual appropriations bills for each of the departments considered here, the provisions are largely carried over from those earlier bills. For provisions relating to aid to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, and Iran-related policies, the exact text was carried over from the committee’s initial State Dept., Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, S. 1725 of 7/9/15. See that bill for details.

Israeli Cooperative Programs

Like the Senate Appropriations Comm.’s initial Defense Dept. Appropriations Act, S. 1885 of 6/11/15, this bill would have appropriated $13.6 m. less for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs than the bill that passed into law. Likewise, the funding for the Iron Dome system was the only program that saw specific adjustments, from $41.4 m. in this draft to $55 m. in the final bill. Other provisions relating to military or economic support for Israel—annual provision of FMF, appropriations for the Israeli Arab Scholarship Fund and resettlement of emigres from Eastern Europe, and restrictions relating to the UNHRC—were all carried over to the final bill.

Responding to the Crisis in Syria and Iraq

In addition to carrying over the authorization for non-lethal assistance to programs addressing the needs of civilians affected by the Syria conflict from the Senate’s initial State Dept., Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, S. 1725 of 7/9/15, this draft also carried over the $531.45 m. appropriation for training and equipping certain vetted Syrian rebel groups from the committee’s initial Defense Dept. Appropriations Act, S. 1558 of 6/11/15.

Funding and Restrictions on Relevant Government Entities and International Groups

Only 2 of the relevant provisions, restrictions, and appropriations related to these entities and groups were altered between this early draft and the final bill.

International Peacekeeping Activities: Down substantially from $2.12 b. in FY 2015, this draft would have made $505 m. available under this heading, from which U.S. contributions to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and the UN Disengagement Observer Force are drawn. The final bill made $1.794 b. available.

Broadcasting Board of Governors: $728.257 m. would have been made available for this agency to make and supervise grants for radio and television broadcasting in the Middle East, which the final bill upped to $734.087 m.

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