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Left off US spending bill, Iron Dome funding to be brought to a vote this week

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22.09.2021

US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday the $1 billion funding of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system would be brought for a separate vote this week after it was left off a government spending bill.

Speaking on the House floor, Hoyer said he would bring the replenishing of Iron Dome as a standalone vote later this week. The announcement was made amid pressure from pro-Israel Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch, Kathy Manning, Josh Gottheimer, Ritchie Torres, Brad Schneider and others who were livid over the decision to leave the funding for Israel’s defense off the spending bill.

“It is my intention to bring to this floor a suspension bill before the end of this week that will fund fully Iron Dome. I was for that. I’m still for it, we ought to do it,” said Hoyer. “I talked to the foreign minister, Mr. Lapid, just two hours ago and assured him that bill was going to pass this House.”

“I intend to bring it to the floor and it will be done,” he added.

On Tuesday night, after removing the Iron Dome provision, the House voted to fund the government into early December, suspend the federal debt limit and provide disaster and refugee aid, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Republicans who oppose the package despite the prospects of a looming fiscal crisis. The Democratic-led House passed the measure by a vote of 220-211, strictly along party lines. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to falter because of overwhelming GOP opposition.

The decision to strike the Iron Dome funding from the bill, following pressure from progressives, drew criticism from some US Jewish groups. Israel, however, downplayed the development.

Hoyer’s announcement came after he spoke to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday night. During the phone call, Lapid was reassured that the move was a “technical delay” related to discussions over the US debt ceiling and that the defense funding would be approved at a later date, the foreign minister said in a statement.

Hoyer underlined his commitment to Israel’s security, emphasizing that it was a view shared by the White House and Democrat House and Senate leaders, while pledging that the Iron Dome funding would soon be allocated, the Foreign Ministry said.

“Minister Lapid thanked Majority Leader Hoyer for his commitment and stressed the need to approve the request as quickly as possible to ensure Israel’s security needs,” his office said.

Israeli officials, speaking to Axios on condition of........

© The Times of Israel


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