Congress Scrambling to Approve Iron Dome Boost
Democratic and Republican members of Congress are scrambling to seal a $225 million boost to Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system before they break this week for a month-long recess but the House and Senate are at odds over process, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, said on Tuesday that no money for Israel will be included in a larger spending bill focused on border security.
She added that Israel could be addressed separately, or in September.
That approach is at odds with the Senate, which wants the Iron Dome money combined with border security and wildfire assistance.
Two weeks ago, a Senate panel approved a 50 percent funding boost for Iron Dome.
The measure, if it becomes law, would provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense programs for the 2015 fiscal year starting in October, including $351 million for the short-range Iron Dome system that has been put to the test over the past eight days amid a raging conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In March, the U.S. Defense Department announced it was providing $429 million to Israel for further development of its aerial defenses, specifically the Iron Dome system.
The Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets that are fired towards populated area, has proven very effective and its success rate was listed as 90% in 2012.