Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has objected to swift passage of a bill to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, five congressional sources told Politico on Thursday.
The bill, which the House overwhelmingly approved last week by a vote of 420-9, would appropriate $1 billion for the Iron Dome.
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, the sources told Politico, the GOP hotline didn’t go through due to Paul’s concerns that the new funding for the Iron Dome was not offset with spending cuts elsewhere.
An effort — supported by Republicans — to hotline an amendment to the funding bill that would add the Iron Dome money also fell apart this week.
A spokeswoman for the Kentucky senator said in response, “He proposed that we pay for the House bill with money that is going to go to the Taliban.”
The bill was introduced after far-left Democratic Congressmen got a provision providing $1 billion for resupply of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system removed from an emergency government funding bill.
Paul has blocked US military aid to Israel in the past. 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.