A bipartisan group of 87 Congressional lawmakers has written a letter calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to support supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The $1 billion in funding to replenish the Iron Dome’s supply of interceptor rockets, which was removed from a spending bill by progressive Democrats, was reintroduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) as standalone legislation that easily passed in the House. But the bill has yet to come up for a vote in the Senate due to a perceived lack of votes.
The bipartisan group of mostly Democrats urged Biden to include the supplemental Iron Dome funding in an appropriations bill before the end of the year noting that the deadline of December 3 for appropriations is fast approaching.
“We are writing to urge that you specifically request that Congress include supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome in an appropriations bill enacted before the year’s end – including in any anomalies you may request to a new continuing resolution,” the letter said. “Replenishing Israel’s stock of Iron Dome interceptors and expanding its missile defense system is a critical investment that will protect both Israeli and Palestinian lives and homes, as well as America’s national security interests.”
The letter continued: “After terrorists in Gaza fired more than 4,000 rockets at civilians in Israel over just 11 days, the House of Representatives passed the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations (H.R.5323) by an overwhelming bipartisan margin. This critical legislation would replenish Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile batteries. Unfortunately, Senator Rand Paul has blocked the bill from coming to the Senate floor, jeopardizing civilian lives and the security of our key ally Israel in its time of need.”
The legislators noted that while the attacks from Gaza have halted for now, they “remain clear-eyed” about the continual threats faced by Israel, not just from Hamas but from other terrorist organizations along the northern border.
“We must ensure that the Iron Dome is equipped to protect Israel without the risk that it could be overwhelmed, or its stockpile of interceptors depleted,” they wrote. “Israel must always have the resources it needs to defend itself from incoming terrorist rockets.”
The members praised Biden for saying he supports Israel’s Iron Dome supplemental request. But they urged him to “include this life-saving funding in any appropriations anomalies you request from Congress.”
“Please know that Congress stands with your Administration in its commitment to ensure Israel’s peace, security, and capability to defend itself from any attack,” they said.