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Democrats Introduce Bill to Provide $1 Billion for Israel's Iron Dome after Progressives Had Eliminated It

Emily Jones : Sep 23, 2021  CBN News

On Tuesday, Democrat leaders excluded the Iron Dome funding from broader legislation to keep funding the federal government and avert a shutdown. Progressive lawmakers who are critical of Israel objected to the provision and threatened to tank the legislation.

(Jerusalem, Israel) — [CBN News] House Democrats introduced a bill late Wednesday to approve $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, a day after it was removed from a larger spending package due to pressure from progressive lawmakers. (Image: Pixabay)

"The United States' commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad. Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility," House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, who introduced the bill, said in a statement on Wednesday night.

The Iron Dome intercepts short-range rockets launched at Israeli citizens from terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

"While this funding would ordinarily be included in a year-end spending package, we are advancing this legislation now to demonstrate Congress' bipartisan commitment to Israel's security as part of a Middle East with lasting peace," she said.

On Tuesday, Democrat leaders excluded the Iron Dome funding from broader legislation to keep funding the federal government and avert a shutdown. Progressive lawmakers who are critical of Israel objected to the provision and threatened to tank the legislation.

With time running out to avert a fiscal crisis and zero support from Republicans due to their concerns about excessive government spending, Democratic leaders conceded to progressive demands and passed the measure without the Iron Dome clause. Shortly after, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer vowed to pass the funding in separate legislation later this week.

The move to remove it from the broader spending package quickly drew criticism among pro-Israel groups, several Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans, who refused to support the bill themselves, even with the Iron Dome provision included, quickly accused Democrats of undermining Israel's security.

House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted: "Democrats just pulled funding from the Iron Dome—the missile defense system that has saved countless lives in Israel from Hamas' rocket attacks. While Dems capitulate to the antisemitic influence of their radical members, Republicans will always stand with Israel."

Several Democrats also expressed concerns.

"Continued financial support of Iron Dome was part of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by President Obama," said Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan. "So, to target Iron Dome now means the issue isn't a genuine concern over the system, but rather the desire to attack something—anything—related to the State of Israel; it's devoid of substance and irresponsible."

Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Ayanna Pressley and Pramila Jayapal reportedly pushed Democratic leaders to remove the Iron Dome funding. They have historically been very critical of Israel and US support for the Israeli military.

New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman told Bloomberg that the problem was the Iron Dome clause had been added at the last minute, leaving no room for proper discussion.

"It's not about Israel, it's about, once again, leadership, throwing something on our table last minute and expecting us to decide in five minutes what to do with it, that's the bigger problem," Bowman said.

To explain the removal, a source familiar to the matter told The Times of Israel that lawmakers were concerned "it was being added to an unrelated bill to keep the government open, with zero strings attached."

Despite the controversy, the Biden administration has long touted its commitment to Israel's security.

The US has already provided more than $1.6 billion for Israel to bolster the Iron Dome system, according to a Congressional Research Service report last year. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here







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