US Senate blocks Iron Dome funding to Israel

Republicans nix aid proposal out of fear that "it would increase the debt"; Majority Leader Harry Reid says"If this isn’t an emergency I don’t know anything that is.”

August 1, 2014 09:31
1 minute read.
Senate Majority Leader Reid speaking in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Reid speaking in Senate 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

A United States Senate bid to deliver aid to Israel during Operation Protective Edge was blocked by Republicans "over concerns that it would increase the debt," Politico reported.

The Democrats proposed a $2.7 billion border aid package that included $255 for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

“We’ve all watched as the tiny state of Israel, who is with us on everything, they have had in the last three weeks 3,000 rockets fired into their country,” Majority Leader Harry Reid was quoted as saying in an appeal to Republicans' deep ties to Israel after they shut down the proposal. “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asked for $225 million in emergency funding so that Israel’s arsenal as it relates to the Iron Dome could be replenished. It’s clear that is an emergency, and we should be able to agree on that.”

“Our number one ally — at least in my mind — is under attack. If this isn’t an emergency I don’t know anything that is,” Reid continued.

GOP leaders who had promised to pass an Israel aid bill in recent days were disappointed, as they had been pushing Reid to separate Israel funding from the border bill, which also included $615 million to fight Western wildfires.

“It’s an important moment for the Senate and the House to show support for Israel. All I can say that if you don’t see the need to come to Israel’s aid now, and the message that it would send now, it would be a big mistake,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was quoted by Politico as saying. “Any person who thinks that the Iron Dome is unnecessary needs to go to the floor and tell us why, why we don’t need to help Israel right now. They’re asking for our help, they’re our best friend in the region, one of our best friends in the world. “

Since the start of Israel's Gaza operation on July 8, Hamas has fired more than 2968 rockets at Israel, according to the IDF. A total of 547 of those rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome.

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