Kirk-Gillibrand Letter to NDAA Conference on Israel Missile Defense

Senator Mark Kirk

July 26, 2016

Senators Kirk and Kirsten Gillibrand today led 36 Senators in a bipartisan letter to urge full funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation programs amid growing missile/rocket threats from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.  The Kirk-led letter comes as congressional lawmakers work to resolve differences in the Senate- and House-passed versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA), an annual bill to authorize the Pentagonís military programs.

On the authorization side, while the House-passed NDAA fully funds U.S.-Israel missile defense programs at $601 million, the Senate-passed version only authorizes $280.8 million for these programs.  Oh the appropriations side, however, Senators Kirk and Gillibrand successfully persuaded the Senate appropriations committee in June 2016 to fully fund these programs at $601 million.  The House defense appropriations bill also fully funds these programs.

36 Senators, including 19 Republicans and 17 Democrats, signed the Kirk-Gillibrand letter:  Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), David Vitter (R-LA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roger F. Wicker (R-MS), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), David A. Perdue (R-GA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), James E. Risch (R-ID), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Lisa Murkoswki (R-AK), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mark Warner (D-VA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), John Boozman (R-AR), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tim Scott (R-NC), and John Thune (R-SD).