Top GOP senator says Israel made mistake on defense deal


( U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) believes that Israel made a mistake in signing the historic $38 billion defense deal with President Barack Obama earlier this week.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Credit: U.S. Senate. 

“They left money on the table,” Graham said in a conference call hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) on Friday.

Sen. Graham, who chairs the Senator Appropriation subcommittee, said that Congress wasn’t included in the deal and is not bound by its restriction on providing funding for Israel. According to the agreement, Israel agreed to not lobby Congress to obtain more funding except during war. Under the current agreement, which is set to expire in 2018, Congress provided Israel with supplemental funding for its highly successful Iron Dome missile defense system. However, the new agreement has already provided $5 billion in missile defense funding.

Graham, who has long been an outspoken supporter of Israel in Congress, added that he intends challenge the funding restriction by pushing for a supplementary budget that would provide Israel with $1.5 billion in funding.

The Obama administration is trying to “neuter” Congress, Graham said.

“I will not stand for that,” he added.

Posted on September 16, 2016 .