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US Congress could not pass vote to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome

December 18, 2021 at 10:16 am

Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system is launched to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, above the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on 17 May 2021. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

US Senator Rand Paul voted on Wednesday to block another attempt to provide Israel with $1 billion to replenish its missile defence system – the Iron dome, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The Times of Israel said that the Democrats came under fire from pro-Israel groups in early October after House leadership briefly delayed a vote on the bill amid opposition from a handful of progressive members.

Senator Richard Blumenthal asked the Senate for unanimous consent to proceed with the House version of the bill, but Paul refused to vote, citing the need to find a financial source to the bill.

“I’ve consistently opposed spending outside of the budget unless it’s offset by spending cuts elsewhere. It’s not only an opinion that I hold. It’s actually the law. It’s called pay as you go,” Paul said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

He added: “There’s no question that the US has been a very good ally of Israel over time. Probably, funds exceeding 80 to 100 billion have been expended to Israel over the last four decades. Just on missile defence, the United States has given Israel seven billion.”

READ: Debates continue to rage over effectiveness of air defence systems

According to the American Jewish Committee Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Issacson: “With Senator Paul’s latest obstruction, it appears Iron Dome funding – though enjoying overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, as well as from the administration – is unlikely to move before February, unless leadership can find a procedural detour around his roadblock.”

Isaacson explained that the Senate’s procedure functions on the basis of unanimous consent and that one Senator could obstruct progress on almost any measure.