House Democrats Block Motion for Additional Israel Missile Defense Funding

The Iron Dome defense system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the army is prepared for a “significant widening” of its operation in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)
AP/Tsafrir Abayov

As Israel has been under attack for more than ten days, House Democrats rejected a measure from Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) Thursday to give additional funding to Israel for its Iron Dome Missle Defense system.

Gonzales offered a motion to recommit, which the Democrats voted down on a party-line vote, 218-209. It was meant to provide emergency funding for the Israeli Cooperative Programs to ensure Israel has the systems needed to defend itself from the constant barrage of rockets being fired at Israeli civilians from Palestinian Hamas terrorists.

This is meant to be part of the $3.8 billion the United States has annually given to Israel for security assistance, typically with  bipartisan support. This is also the same amount of funding that is included in the annual appropriations bills for Israeli missile defense.

Details of the bill were to provide $73 million for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system to counter short-range rocket threats, $177 million for Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense, $77 million for Arrow III (the upper-tier missile defense), $173 million for Arrow I and II improvements.

During Gonzales’s remarks on the bill, he made, “Now is the time to stand with our ally Israel.”

“Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, proxies of Iran, have been attacking Israel for two weeks and have fired over 4,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel,” Gonzales said.

He continued, “We need to show them that we believe in their right to defend themselves and that the United States will do everything within our power to ensure they defeat these terrorists and any attacks by Iran.”

Then Gonzales posed the question, “Will my Democrat colleagues choose to stand with Israel, or will they cower to the Iranian proxies?”

Gonzalez said America’s “security partnership serves as an active deterrent” to terrorists in the region, and the “investment in the Iron Dome defense system that counters short-range rockets is one of the most important investments we have made toward peace in the Middle East.”

The Republican then declared, “Not only does it save Israeli lives,” but it also “saves thousands of Palestinian lives.” Gonzalez explained that if “4000 plus rockets fired by terrorists had hit their targets, Israel would have had no choice but to escalate the conflict.”

Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) announced a resolution she was authoring to block the $735 million sale of U.S. precision-guided bombs to Israel while the Jewish state is still under fire.

Breitbart News’s Sean Moran reported in February House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) issued a letter to ranking members in the House Republican party explaining how the GOP will force Democrats to make hard votes to show where they stand on certain issues and expose their far-left socialist ideas.

The report further detailed that McCarthy said, since “Democrats only have a five-member majority in the House, the strong Republican minority can force the slim Democrat majority to take tough votes that have resulted in Democrats losing procedural motions such as blocking the previous question.”

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