Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) pointed out that House Democrats announced they will nix roughly $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome from the short-term government funding bill on the same day President Joe Biden told the United Nations that his administration will stand with its foreign allies.
Cotton said in a statement:
On the same day that President Biden pledged to stand with our allies at the United Nations, members of his own party want to deny Israel the equipment to defend its citizens from terrorist missiles. Despite their best efforts, the United States will support Israel’s right to defend itself and fund the Iron Dome.
The effort to remove funding for the Iron Dome was spearheaded by far-left Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
The Hill notes:
Democrats are still planning to bring the legislation to the House floor later Tuesday. Congress must act within a matter of days to avoid a government shutdown when current funding expires at the end of this month.
A spokesperson for House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that funding for the Iron Dome “will be included in the final, bipartisan and bicameral” defense funding bill later this year.
The snag over Iron Dome funding comes as Democratic centrists and progressives are at odds over the timing and scope of President Biden‘s infrastructure agenda. Moderates demanded a pledge from Democratic leaders last month to hold a vote by next Monday on the $1.2 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill to invest in roads, bridges and broadband initiatives.
Some Democrats, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ), expressed unhappiness with the removal of Iron Dome funding from the bill.
“The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it,” Gottheimer wrote on Twitter. “We must stand by our historic ally — the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) tweeted:
Iron Dome is a purely *defensive* system — it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers. Whatever your views on the Israeli-Pal conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have said they will vote against the House’s legislation, signalling they will only approve a short-term government funding bill if Democrats separate it from a plan to suspend the debt ceiling through next year, The Hill reports.
“Senate Republicans would support a clean continuing resolution that included appropriate disaster relief and targeted Afghan assistance. We will not support legislation that raises the debt limit,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
“The Democrats have the House, the Senate, the White House, and they have the capacity to raise the debt ceiling,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) added.