U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted for committee passage of a funding measure that reinforces the U.S. commitment to support Israel's ability to defend itself.
The FY2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday provides $3.3 billion for military aid for Israel. Overall, the Senate measure is written to support U.S. allies, counter extremism, and promote democracy around the globe.
"Our commitment to Israel as our most important ally in the Middle East is backed up with funding in this bill," Hyde-Smith said. "I appreciate that this bill also continues restrictions on the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is decidedly skewed against the best interests of Israel and American interests."
The funding fits with the goals of the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S.2497), which Hyde-Smith cosponsored in support of long-term U.S. foreign military assistance to Israel.
Elsewhere in the bill, Hyde-Smith supported provisions to ensure the respect for life around the globe. The bill maintains the Helms Amendment banning the use of foreign aid funding for abortions. It also prohibits funding for organizations that support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization, as determined by the President.
The legislation also contains $25 million for programs to promote international religious freedom.
This measure, approved unanimously by the committee, is now among nine of 12 FY2019 appropriations bills available for consideration by the full Senate.