Rand Paul
Rand PaulReuters

US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday once again blocked attempts to provide Israel with $1 billion to replenish its Iron Dome system, JPost reported.

According to the report, Paul blocked the vote on the grounds that there is a need to find a financial source to the bill. The vote took place as Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked for unanimous consent for the Senate to proceed with the House version of the bill.

“The Senate must pass HR 5323 as quickly as possible,” said Blumenthal, adding, “Iron Dome has widespread bipartisan support in Congress as well it should.”

Paul replied to Blumenthal, “I’ve consistently opposed spending outside of the budget unless it’s offset by spending cuts elsewhere. It’s not only an opinion that I hold. It’s actually the law. It’s called pay as you go. We passed the law many years ago to try to balance our books by having people come forward with things that sound good, want to spend it, but not offset it by spending cuts elsewhere.”

“There’s no question that the US has been a very good ally of Israel over time,” Paul added. “Probably, funds exceeding 80 to 100 billion have been expended to Israel over the last four decades. Just on missile defense, the United States has given Israel seven billion.”

He said that the funding for Iron Dome “should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. There’s a $3 billion fund that is left over from money we were giving to the Afghan national government. There is no Afghan national government. The Taliban have taken over.”

It is not clear yet when the measure will be considered again.

In October, Paul blocked a Senate effort to fast-track $1 billion in emergency Iron Dome missile defense system funding to Israel.

At the time, Paul objected to Sen. Bob Menendez's efforts to pass the Iron Dome bill, which passed the House a week earlier, via unanimous consent.

Days earlier, Paul objected to swift passage of the Iron Dome bill.

The House-passed bill was brought up as a “hotline” for both parties, a process that requires the consent of all 100 senators in order for the bill to hit the Senate floor immediately for a vote.

While Democrats cleared the hotline unanimously, Paul voted against it, citing concerns that the funding for the Iron Dome was not offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

In 2018, he put a hold on the US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, which codifies into law the $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over 10 years that was negotiated in the final days of the Obama administration.

In 2011, Paul was one of only two GOP senators who withheld their signatures from a letter by 11 GOP senators who have vowed continued financial support for Israel.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) tweeted following Wednesday’s actions that Paul’s “continued delay of Iron Dome funding undermines Israel’s security, risks innocent lives, makes war more likely, and emboldens Iran-backed terrorists.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted, “Senator Paul continues to hold up Iron Dome funding in the Senate. Senator, it is time to follow through with your support of Israel.”