House Democrats introduced a stand-alone bill Wednesday that would fund Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system after progressives pulled the funding from Tuesday’s stopgap bill to fund the government.
The measure introduced Wednesday by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat and House Appropriations Committee chairwoman, provides $1 billion to replenish the missile defense system that was taxed during 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in May.
The Islamist terror group fired an estimated 4,360 rockets at Israel during the conflict, and the Iron Dome shot down 90% of those that came within range of the system, according to Israeli officials.
“The United States’ commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad,” Ms. DeLauro said in a statement Wednesday. “Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility.”
Far-left Democrats, including members of the “Squad,” successfully pressured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday into stripping military aid to Israel from a bill to keep the federal government open past Sept. 30.
Though moderate Democrats opposed stripping the funding from the bill, Mrs. Pelosi was forced to pull the measure given her party’s narrow grip in the House.
In doing so, House Democrats successfully forced through the short-term funding measure to prevent a government shutdown and avoid a debt default on a 220-211 party-line vote.
But the tactic drew fire from moderate Democrats and Republicans alike.
“Iron Dome is a purely defensive system - it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centers,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Michigan Democrat, said Tuesday on Twitter. “Whatever your views on the Israeli-Pal[estinian] conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.”
On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted a picture of a bipartisan delegation posing before an Iron Dome battery in Israel on Twitter.
“Two years ago — 70 Republicans & Democrats stood at an Iron Dome defense battery in Israel,” the post read. “For Repubs, it’s a reminder we will always stand with Israel.”
“For Dems, it apparently was nothing more than a photo op,” he continued. “Yesterday, every one of them voted against funding for the Iron Dome.”
Ms. DeLauro initially pledged to include the Iron Dome funding in the appropriations package at the end of the year. But as pressure to restore the funding grew, House Democratic leadership promised a more timely vote on the measure.
“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,” Ms. DeLauro said.
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