The Senate today passed extra funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, as members argued that more defense was needed for the Jewish state as quickly as possible.
“Israel does not have enough Iron Domes to protect them,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor. “They need more.”
The funding bill introduced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to the tune of $225 million, passed by unanimous consent.
“The Iron Dome missile defense system has played a critical role in defending Israel’s population from rocket attacks launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip,” McConnell said. “The Iron Dome system will remain essential to Israel’s security until a cease fire is achieved, and it will remain vital afterwards as well, because this defensive system helps blunt the impact of one of Hamas’ preferred tools of terror.”
“By passing this bipartisan measure, we send a message to Hamas that its terrorist tactics and its attempts to terrorize Israel’s populace will not succeed. And we can help Israel defend its civilian population against indiscriminate attacks as it continues its campaign—Operation Protective Edge—to destroy the often-Iranian-supplied weapons stockpiled within Gaza.”
Members of the House Armed Services Committee urged Reid in a letter Thursday to bring the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to the floor for a vote, citing Israel’s missile defense as one of the points of urgency.
The House version of the NDAA includes the $176 million the president requested for Iron Dome as well as an additional $175 million.
We believe that Hamas’ violent attacks on Israeli citizens will help us make the case for the higher level of funding provided in H.R. 4435.
“Unfortunately, the Senate’s failure, under your leadership, to consider the FY15 NDAA is needlessly tying up more than $620 million in vital defense support for Israel at a time when it is fighting for its survival from Hamas and its Iranian sponsors,” the House lawmakers wrote.
“On the matter of Iran, we also encourage you to schedule an immediate vote, upon completion of debate on the FY15 NDAA, on legislation increasing sanctions on Iran. For example, H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which passed the House on a 400 to 20 vote, has been waiting for Senate action for 364 days. Further delay on both measures strengthens only Israel’s enemies.”