UNITED STATES NEWS

Clinton defends administration record on Israel

Feb 29, 2012, 8:18 PM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is dismissing Republican criticism of President Barack Obama’s record in supporting Israel and says U.S. aid would be the highest ever.

Pressed at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Clinton told lawmakers Wednesday that the administration has pledged its strong support for Israel and put more money behind that pledge than any other administration. Obama is seeking $3.1 billion in military assistance for Israel in next year’s budget, which would make it the largest recipient of U.S. aid.

Republicans have questioned the administration’s budget request for a joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense program, arguing that it’s too low. In fact, the amount is close to the current level.

The election-year criticism comes ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington next week.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Clinton defends administration record on Israel