In a letter to President Obama, 388 Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, urged the White House not to back any resolution at the UN that sets parameters for Israeli-Palestinian talks, a move the president has been considering.
The lawmakers said U.S. support for a UN Security Council resolution would “dangerously hinder” the prospects of resuming direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel has opposed such resolutions, and the U.S. has vetoed them in the past.
Meanwhile, several influential lawmakers are calling for added funding for U.S.-Israeli partnership efforts like the Iron Dome air defense system, David’s Sling, a medium- and long-range air defense system, and the Arrow family of anti-ballistic missiles. Last year, Congress augmented the administration’s request for Arrow and David’s Sling programs by more than 100%.
The additional funds directly bolster U.S. industry, Missile Defense Agency director Adm. James Syring told a Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing Wednesday.
The Iron Dome missile defense partnership includes an agreement for co-production of the system that, in fiscal 2015, brought 55% of the work to the U.S.
Some of the additional funding for Iron Dome went to the procurement of additional interceptors that were needed after the 2014 Gaza conflict, Syring noted. He was asked why the president doesn’t just provide more funding for Israel up front in the base budget.