Obama administration: Shutdown will affect military aid to Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration underscored potential cuts in defense assistance to Israel in making its case against the government shutdown.

“In the absence of a continuing resolution, we have no FY14 Foreign Military Financing, International Military Education or Peacekeeping Operations funds to obligate,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday in prepared remarks about how the failure to keep the government funded through a stopgap funding bill, or “continuing resolution,” was affecting foreign policy.

“So for example – I’ll just give you one example – FY 2014 security assistance funding for Israel will be delayed until a continuing resolution or until full-year appropriation is passed,” Harf said. “The State Department’s ability to provide military assistance to Israel and other allies in the time frame that is expected and customary could be hindered depending on the length of the shutdown.”

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats are blaming the shutdown on the insistence of the majority Republican caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives to defund President Obama’s signal health care legislation.