Senate approves initially blocked Iron Dome funding

The Iron Dome battery in Ashkelon. Credit: IDF.

( The United States Senate on Friday passed $225 million in emergency funding for Israel’s highly successful Iron Dome missile defense system. The Senate initially blocked the funding on Thursday amid disputes between Republicans and Democrats over the federal budget deficit.

The Pentagon-requested Iron Dome funding had drawn scrutiny due to its inclusion as part of a $2.7 billion border aid package comprising items unrelated to Israel, including $615 million to fight Western wildfires. 

According to Politico, the emergency funding for Israel was blocked by Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday over concerns that it would increase U.S. debt. Republicans wanted the Iron Dome aid to be separate from the larger border spending bill and to include spending cuts to other international organizations like the United Nations, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had balked at both suggestions.  

“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,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). 

Posted on August 1, 2014 .