US Congress 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
WASHINGTON The majority of Republican freshmen in the US House of Representatives have signed on to a letter committing to current levels of defense assistance to Israel.
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Among the 87 freshmen, 65 have signed the letter initiated by Reps. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.) to the party's House leadership.
"As Israel faces threats from escalating instability in Egypt, Hezbollah
rockets in Lebanon, Hamas terrorists in Gaza and the existential danger
posed by Iran's nuclear program, full US security assistance to
Israel, including supporting Israel's acquisition of the Iron Dome
defense system, has never been more important for our own national
security interests," said the letter asking fellow freshmen to sign,
which was still accruing signatures as of Tuesday.
The appeal -- and the support it garnered -- is significant because it
answers questions pro-Israel groups had about the 2011 class of GOP
freshmen, many of them spurred to office by the Tea Party movement,
which has cost cutting as its central focus.
The letter is a sign that US President Barack Obama's proposal this week to
maintain levels of funding for Israel, currently at about $3 billion
annually, will be untouched.
Dold joined Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who is not a freshman lawmaker,
in sending a similar letter last week to House appropriators.