South Carolina’s senior U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says he does not think the amount of aid money from the United States to Israel under a proposed new deal is enough.
The Republican chairman of the Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee is not signing off on the plan that would increase aid to Israel from $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion starting in 2018. Graham feels the amount is not sufficient, despite the increase. His subcommittee had placed $3.4 billion into the package.
“The Israeli prime minister told me the administration is refusing to sign the (deal) until I agree to change my appropriation markup back to $3.1 billion,” Graham told the Washington Post. “I said, ‘Tell the administration to go eff themselves.’”
Graham also claimed he saw the dispute as a separation of powers issue. He said only Congress can appropriate funding and that neither House or Senate members were part of the Israel-U.S. negotiations.
According to the Post and Courier, Graham plans to move forward with an appropriations bills that sets Israeli aid at $3.4 billion. Graham is not giving into pressure to go along with the administration’s package aid figures.
The disagreement was first reported by the Washington Post.