AIPAC announced that provisions supportive of Israel were added to the 2018 Fiscal Year Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed on March 23rd.
The provisions, which arose from bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, establish a U.S.-Israel Center for Excellence in energy and water technologies. Additionally, the law funds the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Energy (Bird-Energy) Program.
“This is the highest level of funding for joint U.S-Israel energy programs in our countries’ histories. Funding these two programs will further assist our nations in achieving energy independence, and will improve our environment and national security.”
In addition to funding U.S.-Israel collaborative research and development (R&D), approximately $3.1 billion in the law will be allocated towards security assistance for the State of Israel. This funding is especially significant since it is the first time in a decade there has been new R&D funding for a program not related to defense.