US Senate blocks ermergency Iron Dome funding
The US Senate has blocked emergency funding for additional Iron Dome missiles and batteries
. And I'm sorry to report that the Republicans get most of the blame.
A last-ditch effort to deliver aid to Israel during its war with Hamas
died on the Senate floor, as Republicans blocked the proposal over
concerns that it would increase the debt.
After Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ $2.7
billion border aid package, which also included $225 million for
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and $615 million to fight
Western wildfires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to split off
the Israel and wildfire money as a standalone bill, hoping to put aside
the dispute over border funding and appeal to Republicans’ deep ties to
“We’ve all watched as the tiny state of Israel, who is with us on
everything, they have had in the last three weeks 3,000 rockets filed
into their country,” Reid said. “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked
for $225 million in emergency funding so that Israel’s arsenal as it
relates to the Iron Dome could be replenished. It’s clear that is an
emergency, and we should be able to agree on that.”
It didn’t work.
Even though GOP leaders had vowed to pass an Israel aid bill in
recent days, Republicans rejected Reid’s request. First Senate Minority
Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) objected to Reid’s request for a straight
emergency cash infusion for firefighting and Israel. Then Sen. Tom
Coburn (R-Okla.) offered an alternative that would deliver money to
Israel and the West and offer commensurate spending cuts to
international organizations like the United Nations; Reid blocked that.
“Our number one ally — at least in my mind — is under attack. If this
isn’t an emergency I don’t know anything that is,” Reid said.
“I want to fund Israel,” replied Coburn. “I also want to make sure our children have a future.”
The stumble on delivering $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile
defense system, which is used to shoot down rockets aimed at Israel,
infuriated GOP hawks who’d been pushing Reid to break the Israel funding
from the border bill.
“It’s an important moment for the Senate and the House to show
support for Israel. All I can say that if you don’t see the need to come
to Israel’s aid now, and the message that it would send now, it would
be a big mistake,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “Any person who
thinks that the Iron Dome is unnecessary needs to go to the floor and
tell us why, why we don’t need to help Israel right now. They’re asking
for our help, they’re our best friend in the region, one of our best
friends in the world. “
I would have voted for Coburn's bill, but that actually could have drawn an Obama veto. And while Reid gets credit for trying to separate Israel, if you read between the lines of the article, he should have done so much sooner and was trying to use Israel to push the border bill through. But I'm disappointed with Cornyn....
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Harry Reid, Iron Dome, Lindsey Graham, United States Senate